Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin's plan to have the commission vote on changes to media-ownership rules is still under fire. Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) say they will urge the Senate Appropriations Committee to deny funding to implement the new rules. In a letter to Martin, Obama and Kerry say the "the intent of the Senate Commerce Committee was made clear" when it passed the Media Ownership Act, a rule that would require the FCC to establish an independent panel on female and minority ownership, while waiting for that panel's recommendations before voting on any changes to ownership rules.
The two senators write, "it is our hope that the sum of these objections will convince you to delay this vote until a time following the commission's consideration of other pressing matters." Obama and Kerry add: "Specifically, we believe that moving forward with this change will have a direct and detrimental impact on the state of media diversity."