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    This page contains bills sponsored by presidential contenders. Bill sponsorships indicate the topics that legislators are most interested in, and spend the most time on.

05-S0900 on Apr 26, 2005

Legislation by 2008 Presidential Candidates: requiring text on TV for visually-impaired viewers
Source: TV for the Visually Impaired Act (S.900/H.R.951)
OFFICIAL CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY: A bill to reinstate the Federal Communications Commission's rules for the description of video programming.

SPONSOR'S INTRODUCTORY REMARKS: Sen. McCAIN: This bill would require television broadcasters, during at least 50 hours of their prime time or children's programming every quarter, to insert verbal descriptions of actions or settings not contained in the normal audio track of a program. This can be accomplished through technology commonly referred to as "video description services," which allows television programming to be more accessible and enjoyable for the visually impaired.

This bill is necessary due to a 2002 decision by District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals. In 2000, the FCC, recognizing the need to make television programming accessible to the visually impaired, mandated that television broadcast stations provide 50 hours of video descriptions during prime time or children's programming every calendar quarter. Television programmers challenged the Commission's authority to promulgate such rules. The Circuit Court held that the Commission did not have authority to issue the regulations.

This bill would provide the Commission the authority to promulgate such regulations and reinstate the FCC's video description rules issued in 2000. Since the spectrum that television broadcasters utilize is a public asset, one would expect that programming over the public airwaves is accessible to all Americans. Unfortunately, that is not the case today and that is why we must pass the TIVI Act. I sincerely hope that television broadcasters will work with us to provide video descriptions for individuals with visual disabilities.

LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Referred to Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation; never came to a vote.


  • Topic: Technology
  • Headline: Require text on TV for visually-impaired viewers
  • Headline 2: Sponsored bill requiring text on TV for visually-impaired

  • Key for participation codes:
  • Sponsorships: p=sponsored; o=co-sponsored; s=signed
  • Memberships: c=chair; m=member; e=endorsed; f=profiled; s=scored
  • Resolutions: i=introduced; w=wrote; a=adopted
  • Cases: w=wrote; j=joined; d=dissented; c=concurred
  • Surveys: '+' supports; '-' opposes.



Democrats participating in 05-S0900

Michael Capuano s1oMA Former Democratic Primary Senate Challenger (2009) 
Jim Cooper s1oTennessee Democrat 
Lloyd Doggett s1oTexas Democrat 
Chaka Fattah s1oPennsylvania Democrat 
Gene Green s1oTexas Democrat 
Tom Harkin s1oIA Democratic Jr Senator (retiring 2014) 
Mike Honda s1oCalifornia Democrat 
Daniel Inouye s1oHI Democratic Sr Senator 
Sheila Jackson Lee s1oTexas Democrat 
Dennis Kucinich s1oOhio Democrat (Lost 2012 Primary) 
Mary Landrieu s1oLA Democratic Sr Senator 
Zoe Lofgren s1oCalifornia Democrat 
Ed Markey s2pMA Democratic Challenger 
Jim McGovern s1oMassachusetts Democrat 
James Moran s1oVirginia Democrat 
Collin Peterson s1oMinnesota Democrat/Farmer/Labor 
Chris Van Hollen s1oMaryland Democrat 
Albert Wynn s1oMaryland Democrat (Unseated 2008) 



Republicans participating in 05-S0900

Jim Gerlach s1oPennsylvania Republican 
John McCain s2pAZ Republican Sr Senator 
Gordon Harold Smith s1oOR Former Republican Senator (lost re-election, 2008) 
Ted Stevens s1oAK Former Republican Sr Senator 
Heather Wilson s1oNew Mexico Republican (Senate 2008) 



Independents participating in 05-S0900



Total recorded by OnTheIssues:

Democrats: 18
Republicans: 5
Independents: 0


















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