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Bobby Rush on Technology

Democratic Representative (IL-1)


Voted NO on protecting cyber security by sharing data with government.

Congressional Summary:

Proponent's Argument for voting Yes:

Opponent's Argument for voting No:
Reference: Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act; Bill H.R.624 ; vote number 13-HV117 on Apr 18, 2013

Voted NO on terminating funding for National Public Radio.

    Congressional Summary: To prohibit Federal funding of National Public Radio and the use of Federal funds to acquire radio content, including:
  1. broadcasting, transmitting, and programming over noncommercial educational radio broadcast Corporation for Public Broadcasting was created in 1967. Today, we have multiple listening choices; NPR [has become an] absurd anachronism. It is time to move forward and to let National Public Radio spread its wings and support itself.

    Opponent's Argument for voting No:
    [Rep. Waxman, D-CA]: This bill will cripple National Public Radio, public radio stations, and programming that is vital to over 27 million Americans. We are now voting to deny the public access to one of our Nation's most credible sources of news coverage. This bill does not save a penny. This legislation does not serve any fiscal purpose, but it does serve an ugly ideological one. This legislation is not about reforming NPR. It is about punishing NPR. It is vindictive, it is mean-spirited, it is going to hit the smallest stations in rural areas particularly hard. Public radio is indispensable for access to news that's hard to get, especially where broadband service is limited.

    Reference: Prohibit Federal Funds for NPR; Bill H.1076 ; vote number 11-HV192 on Mar 17, 2011

    Voted YES on delaying digital TV conversion by four months.

    Congressional Summary:Amends the Digital Television Transition and Public Safety Act to delay the transition of television broadcasting from analog to digital to June 13, 2009. Requires the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to extend for a 116-day period the licenses for recovered spectrum, including the construction requirements associated with those licenses.

    Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. RICK BOUCHER (D, VA-9): Fully 6.5 million households are totally unprepared for the transition on February 17; these 6.5 million households will lose all of their television service, and that number represents about 5.7% of the total American television viewing public. If almost 6%of the nation's households lose all of their television service, I think that most people would declare that the digital television transition has been a failure. In recognition of that reality, this legislation would delay the transition until June 12.

    Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. JOE LINUS BARTON (R, TX-6): The majority is trying to fix a problem that I do not think really exists. We have sent out 33 million coupons: 22 million of those coupons have been redeemed, and 11 million coupons are outstanding. The outstanding coupons are being redeemed, I think, by about 500,000 a week, something like that. In my opinion, you could keep the hard date and not have a problem, but if you think there is a problem, it is not from lack of money. We have appropriated $1.3 billion. About half of that is still in the Treasury, so the redemption rate is only about 52%. Even though we are delaying this until June 12 if this bill becomes law, according to the acting chairman of the FCC, 61% of the television stations in America are going to go ahead and convert to digital. 143 television stations already have converted, and in those areas where they have converted, I am not aware that there has been a huge problem.

    Reference: DTV Delay Act; Bill S.352 ; vote number 2009-H052 on Mar 4, 2009

    Voted YES on increasing fines for indecent broadcasting.

    Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act of 2005: Expresses the sense of Congress that broadcast television station licensees should reinstitute a family viewing policy for broadcasters. Amends the Communications Act of 1934 to provide that for violators of any Federal Communications Commission (FCC) license, if a violator is determined by the FCC to have broadcast obscene, indecent, or profane material, the amount of forfeiture penalty shall not exceed $500,000 for each violation. Sets forth:
    1. additional factors for determining indecency penalties;
    2. indecency penalties for non-licensees;
    3. deadlines for actions on complaints;
    4. additional remedies for indecent broadcasts; and
    5. provisions for license disqualification, revocation, or renewal consideration for violations of indecency prohibitions.
    Reference: Bill sponsored by Rep. Fred Upton [R, MI-6]; Bill H.R.310 ; vote number 2005-035 on Feb 16, 2005

    Voted NO on promoting commercial human space flight industry.

    Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004: States that Congress finds that:
    1. the goal of safely opening space to the American people and to their private commercial enterprises should guide Federal space investments, policies, and regulations;
    2. private industry has begun to develop commercial launch vehicles capable of carrying human beings into space;
    3. greater private investment in these efforts will stimulate the commercial space transportation industry;
    4. space transportation is inherently risky, and the future of the commercial human space flight industry will depend on its ability to continually improve its safety performance; and
    5. the regulatory standards governing human space flight must evolve as the industry matures so that regulations neither stifle technology development nor expose crew or space flight participants to avoidable risks as the public comes to expect greater safety for crew and space flight participants from the industry.
    Reference: Bill sponsored by Rep Dana Rohrabacher [R, CA-46]; Bill H.R.5382 ; vote number 2004-541 on Nov 20, 2004

    Voted YES on banning Internet gambling by credit card.

    Internet Gambling Bill: Vote to pass a bill that would prohibit credit card companies and other financial institutions from processing Internet gambling transactions. Exempt from the ban would be state regulated or licensed transactions.
    Reference: Bill sponsored by Spencer, R-AL; Bill HR 2143 ; vote number 2003-255 on Jun 10, 2003

    Voted YES on allowing telephone monopolies to offer Internet access.

    Internet Freedom and Broadband Deployment Act of 2001: Vote to pass a bill that would allow the four regional Bell telephone companies to enter the high-speed Internet access market via their long-distance connections whether or not they have allowed competitors into their local markets as required under the 1996 Telecommunications Act. The bill would allow the Bells to increase the fees they charge competitors for lines upgraded for broadband services from "wholesale rates" to "just and reasonable rates." It also would also allow the Bells to charge for giving competitors access to certain rights-of-way for broadband access. Certain FCC regulatory oversight would be maintained although the phone companies' high speed services would be exempted from regulation by the states.
    Reference: Bill sponsored by Tauzin, R-LA; Bill HR 1542 ; vote number 2002-45 on Feb 27, 2002

    Close digital divide with high-tech training.

    Rush adopted the CBC principles:

    Source: Congressional Black Caucus press release 01-CBC9 on Jan 6, 2001

    Criminal penalties for e-mail spamming.

    Rush co-sponsored the Anti-Spamming Act:

    Title: To protect individuals, families, and Internet service providers from unsolicited and unwanted electronic mail.

      Summary:

    1. Amends the Federal criminal code to provide criminal penalties for intentionally transmitting ten or more unsolicited commercial electronic mail messages to one or more protected computers in the United States, with the knowledge that such messages are accompanied by or contain materially false or misleading information as to the identity of the initiator.

    2. Allows a provider of Internet access service to bring an action against a person using such service to commit a violation of this Act.

    3. Allows certain statutory damages under such an action.

    4. Prescribe marks or notices to be included in electronic mail that contains a sexually oriented advertisement in order to inform the recipient of such fact.

    5. Provides penalties for not including such marks or notices.

    6. Requires the Attorney General to submit to Congress a detailed analysis of the effectiveness and enforcement, and need for modification, of this Act.
    Source: House Resolution Sponsorship 01-HR718 on Feb 14, 2001

    No performance royalties for radio music.

    Rush signed Local Radio Freedom Act

    Source: SCR.14&HCR.49 2009-SCR14 on Mar 30, 2009

    Let companies share Y2K plans with no risk of lawsuits.

    Rush co-sponsored the Year 2000 Information and Readiness Disclosure Act

    An act to encourage the disclosure and exchange of information about computer processing problems, solutions, test practices and test results, and related matters in connection with the transition to the year 2000.

    Provides that no Year 2000 (Y2K problem) readiness disclosure (a statement concerning Year 2000 computer compliance information) shall be admissible in any civil action arising under Federal or State law against the maker of the disclosure to prove the accuracy or truth of any year 2000 statement in such disclosure, except: (1) as the basis for a claim for anticipatory breach or repudiation or a similar claim against the maker; and (2) when a court determines that the maker's disclosure amounts to bad faith or fraud or is otherwise unreasonable.

    Corresponding House bill is H.R.4455. Became Public Law No: 105-271.

    Source: Bill sponsored by 32 Senators and 11 Reps 98-S2392 on Jul 30, 1998

    2012 Governor, House and Senate candidates on Technology: Bobby Rush on other issues:
    IL Gubernatorial:
    Pat Quinn
    IL Senatorial:
    Mark Kirk
    Richard Durbin



    Lame-duck session 2012:
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    MI-11:Dave Curson(D)
    NJ-9: Donald Payne Jr.(D)
    WA-1: Suzan DelBene(D)

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    Page last updated: Jun 14, 2013