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Blackburn Files Legislation to Block Net Neutrality

Press release from U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn. 07; March 4, 2015:

Congressman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) has reintroduced legislation to block the Obama Administration’s efforts to take over the Internet by implementing new Net Neutrality regulations. H.R. 1212, the Internet Freedom Act, would block the FCC’s Net Neutrality rules by stating that they shall have no force or effect and prohibits the FCC from reissuing new Net Neutrality rules.

Blackburn’s legislation, which has 19 original co-sponsors, comes in response to last week’s 3-2 vote by the FCC to implement rules regulating the Internet as a utility.

“Last week’s vote by the FCC to regulate the Internet like a 1930s era public utility is further proof that the Obama Administration will stop at nothing in their efforts to control the Internet,” Blackburn said. “There is nothing ‘free and open’ about this heavy-handed approach. These overreaching rules will stifle innovation, restrict freedoms, and lead to billions of dollars in new fees and taxes for American consumers.

“Once the federal government establishes a foothold into managing how Internet service providers run their networks they will essentially be deciding which content goes first, second, third, or not at all. My legislation will put the brakes on this FCC overreach and protect our innovators from these job-killing regulations.”

Blackburn, who serves as Vice Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has been leading the fight against the Obama Administration’s Net Neutrality regulations since they were first proposed in 2010 by Former Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski. Despite being struck down by a Federal Appeals Court in January of 2014, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler pushed forward in an effort to implement President Obama’s net neutrality rules. Blackburn introduced the Internet Freedom Act in both the 112th Congress and 113th Congress.

Read the full text of the legislation HERE.

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Blackburn files Bill to Require More Transparency from United States Preventative Services Task Force

Press release from U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn. 07; March 4, 2015:

Representatives Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Bobby L. Rush (D-IL) last week introduced H.R. 1151, the USPSTF Transparency and Accountability Act of 2015. This bipartisan legislation would amend title IX of the Public Health Service Act to require more transparent operations at the United States Preventative Services Task Force.

H.R. 1151 would fundamentally reform the Task Force by requiring a balanced and relevant representation of medical personnel, requiring members to disclose conflicts of interest, and requiring consultation with those who treat the specific disease in question.

“I am concerned that decisions are being made without proper input from the specialists who treat these diseases,” Blackburn said. “Our legislation would require common sense coordination among relevant agencies and stakeholders while protecting the doctor-patient relationship. I’m happy to join Congressman Rush in introducing this legislation to ensure that preventive care recommendations are not made in a vacuum. Patients and their physicians have the right to choose which tests are best for them.”

“This bill will bring the appropriate specialists and stakeholders to the table, and add clarity to the process of making recommendations on the preventative services that should be available to the American people, said Rep. Rush. “I am pleased to work with Rep. Blackburn to ensure preventive service recommendations are informed by the right people and that choice remains a hallmark of the doctor/patient relationship.”

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Alexander, Corker, Blackburn File Legislation to Allow Songwriters to Receive Fair Market Compensation

Press release from U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.; March 4, 2015:

WASHINGTON, March 4, 2015 – U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), along with U.S. Reps. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and others, today introduced legislation that would allow songwriters to receive compensation based on the fair market value of their songs.

The Songwriter Equity Act would amend federal law to allow songwriters to receive market-based compensation and would remove government price controls. Hatch is a songwriter himself and a senior member of the Judiciary Committee that would consider the legislation. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) is also a cosponsor in the Senate. Collins serves as the Vice Chair of the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Intellectual Property. In addition to Blackburn and Collins, U.S. Reps.Phil Roe (R-Tenn.), Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) and Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) are also cosponsors in the House.

Alexander said: “Italy has its art, Egypt has its pyramids, Napa Valley has its wines and Nashville has its songwriters. Songwriters are the lifeblood of Music City, and their paychecks ought to be based on the fair market value of their songs – so that when they write a hit heard around the world, you can see it in their billfolds. My hope is that in this new Congress, we will pass this legislation to help give our nation’s songwriters the fair pay they have earned.”

Corker said: “Music showcases the incredible talent and vision of Tennesseans – its songwriters, musicians, and small and large businesses – across the country and around the world. Unfortunately, it’s easy for some to forget the countless people who bring to life the music we enjoy each day. We turn the knob, hit the button, click the mouse, and our favorite songs are there. As technology advances, it’s important that we remember where the music begins and modernize the way songwriters are compensated for their work.”

Hatch said: “The music business is among the toughest and most competitive industries, and our songwriters and composers should not have to accept below-market rates for their work. Ensuring that they are able to receive the fair market value for their songs is the right thing to do.”

Blackburn said: “Behind every great song is a great songwriter who deserves to be fairly compensated for their creative works. I am happy to once again join my House and Senate colleagues in this bipartisan effort to ensure fairness for our songwriters.”

Collins said: “In my home state of Georgia alone, there are close to 50,000 songwriters who have dedicated their lives to a talent and a calling that, in my view, God gave them. It is critical to ensure that songwriters – the engines that drive the music industry – are compensated fairly for their work. Copyright laws were never intended to create barriers to creativity that forces songwriters to sell their intellectual property at below-market rates. Congress should write laws that not only promote creation and pay creators, but also remain relevant even in times of rapid technological change. The Songwriter Equity Act is a vital step toward a music licensing system built on free market principles and fair compensation to creators. ”

The legislation would allow songwriters to receive market-based compensation and remove government price controls in two ways:

  • First, it would direct the Copyright Royalty Board to set compensation according to the fair market value when songs are sold, such as through music downloads and CD purchases, replacing the current below-market standard.
  • Second, it would remove a provision of law that narrows the scope of evidence the federal rate court may examine when asked to set songwriter compensation for when their song is played, such as in a restaurant or at a concert.

Songwriter compensation is dictated by the federal government. The rate of compensation that is set by the Copyright Royalty Board has increased only 7 cents over 100 years, and is currently 9.1 cents per song. The so-called “federal rate court” determines compensation rates for public performances, occasionally requiring songwriters to engage in complex litigation to be paid reasonable fees for their work.

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Fleischmann, Black, Blackburn Opposed to DHS Funding Bill that Allows Obama Amnesty

Press release from U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tenn. 03; March 3, 2015:

WASHINGTON− This afternoon, Rep. Chuck Fleischmann voted against H.R. 240, Senate-passed legislation that does not stop President Obama’s executive amnesty. After the vote, Rep. Fleischmann released the following statement.

“As a member of Congress, I swore to support and defend the Constitution, and my vote today did just that. The President’s attempt to bypass the U.S. immigration system through executive action is unconstitutional, and I could not support legislation that did nothing to stop his overreach.”

“In January, the House passed a bill to fund DHS while defunding the President’s illegal executive action. It’s unfortunate Senate Democrats filibustered that bill and refused to go to conference, pushing DHS to the brink of shutdown. I am hopeful that moving forward our chambers will be able to work together and stop governing from conflict to conflict.”

Press release from U.S. Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn 06: March 3, 2015:

Washington, D.C. – Today Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06) released the below statement on her vote against the Senate-passed “clean” Department of Homeland Security (DHS) full-year funding bill that failed to address President Obama’s immigration overreach. Earlier today, Rep. Black also voted for a motion by Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) to table consideration of the Senate’s version of this legislation. The motion was not adopted.

“I told my constituents that I would stand against any long-term DHS funding measure that allowed President Obama’s unconstitutional executive amnesty to go unchecked – and I meant it,” said Congressman Diane Black. “We in Congress swore an oath to ‘support and defend the Constitution of the United States’ and the President’s unilateral actions are an affront to this document’s clearly established separation of powers. Tennesseans know that I vote my convictions, even when that means standing opposite party leadership in Washington. This ‘clean’ appropriations bill does nothing to combat the President’s unconstitutional executive amnesty and, as such, it did not earn my support.”

Congressman Black added, “The House voted back in January to fully fund DHS while addressing the President’s immigration overreach. Senate Democrats should be ashamed of themselves for spending a month filibustering our original funding bill and refusing to go to a conference committee to resolve our differences through regular order. It’s time to stop these legislative hijinks that prevent Congress from doing the work of our constituents. A 60-vote threshold for invoking cloture is nowhere to be found in the Constitution. If Senate Democrats won’t allow for an open, honest debate on House-passed legislation, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell should enact a change in the Senate rules to help put an end to this obstructionism and political gamesmanship once and for all.”

Press release from U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn. 07; March 3, 2015:

Congressman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) today issued the following statement on her vote in opposition to funding President Barack Obama’s executive amnesty.

“A majority of the American public wants the President’s lawless and unconstitutional amnesty program stopped.The House acted appropriately on January 14th when we passed a bill to fund the DHS while also blocking amnesty policies that make our nation less safe.

“It is outrageous that Senate Democrats continue to put partisanship ahead of people by ignoring the law and taking actions to protect the President’s executive amnesty. It is noteworthy that two federal judges, one in Texas and one in Pennsylvania have each found the amnesty to be unconstitutional. Instead of working with House and Senate Republicans to solve this problem, the Senate Democrats have spent the last several weeks preaching to conservatives about the importance of protecting the country while turning a blind eye to the threat visited on this country every day by the President’s open borders policy. The duplicity of their actions is shameful. Any country that cannot protect their borders can not defend against threats, terrorists such as ISIS, and sleeper cells.”

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Bowling Looking to Ease Expansion Limits on Government-Owned ISPs

Calling high-speed internet “an essential utility for the 21st Century,” Sen. Janice Bowling wants to ensure rural Tennesseans have access to it.

Sponsored by Bowling and Rep. Kevin Brooks, R-Cleveland, SB1134/HB1303 would allow municipal broadband providers to expand if they “obtain the written consent” of electric co-ops serving the affected areas.

A Republican from Tullahoma, Bowling is pushing to repeal a 1999 state law that restricts municipal electric providers from offering Internet service beyond their designated boundaries.

The Federal Communications Commission also voted Thursday to override those state laws.

However, Bowling told TNReport she wasn’t sure when the ruling would take effect, and would prefer to “go ahead and do what we need to do in Tennessee.”

According to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, the federal body’s action cuts away the “bureaucratic red tape” put on municipal broadband networks by states, and fulfills their congressional mandate to expand broadband service. “It is a well established principle that state laws that inhibit the exercise of federal policy may be subject to preemption in appropriate circumstances,” Wheeler said.

Wheeler called the decision “pro-competition,” and said consumers shouldn’t be restricted to “second-rate broadband.”

The Electric Power Board of Chattanooga and other municipal providers want the leeway to provide their government-funded high-speed broadband to areas beyond their electric system’s borders.

However, Tennessee’s private sector broadband providers argue many rural residents do have access to broadband, and the high speeds touted by municipal providers, while fashionable, are unnecessary and shouldn’t be subsidized by local tax dollars.

Tennessee Telecommunications Association Executive Director Levoy Knowles told TNReport Thursday his organization is opposed to the federal government “taking that authority away from the states.” TTA opposes Bowling’s legislation as well.

“We don’t feel like it’s fair to be competing against government-owned facilities in these same areas that we’ve spent millions of dollars in to put forth a modern network and provide our customers high speed internet service,” Knowles said.

TTA is composed of 21 small Tennessee telephone and broadband companies that serve “approximately 30 percent” of rural Tennessee. Nearly all their customers “already have broadband capability available to them” and the Internet service packages they offer often include “the same speeds and services and products that you can get in the metropolitan areas,” said Knowles.

Bowling argues, however, that her measure removes “the regulatory restriction” government has imposed. She believes consumers should have choices of providers “so that the people, locally, can be self-determined.” Those choices should include the opportunity for a publicly funded “municipal electric provider to come in and negotiate a deal,” she said.

While she understands businesses have “a bottom line” to meet, Bowling posits that rural communities shouldn’t be “held hostage” by limited private-market choices. Furthermore, even if the Internet services that are currently available are sufficient, they often aren’t for commercial uses. “It doesn’t work for doctors and it doesn’t work for bankers, it doesn’t work for a lot of the commercial uses of fiber,” she said.

High-speed internet “is to the 21st century what electricity was to the 20th century,” Bowling said. She compared providing broadband service to rural communities to “what the 1937 Rural Electric Administration bill did nationally, to allow these co-operatives.”

“So essentially what I’m asking for is the ability to form these high-speed broadband cooperatives in areas that are under-served or un-served,” Bowling said.

The Tennessee Municipal Electric Power Association, which represents the state’s 60 municipal electric providers, favors Bowling’s bill.

In a recent press release, Jeremy Elrod, TMEPA’s director of government relations likened the issue to a city’s decision on how to best provide power and water and called Internet service “the next utility of the 21st century.”

“Municipal electric broadband should be allowed to be an option for more communities across Tennessee,” Elrod said.

But opponents of Bowling’s legislation contend if the goal is high-speed internet blanketing the state, government officials should get out of the way and facilitate free-market competition between existing providers by reducing regulations.

In December, Knowles said while he understands the desire to extend service to unserved areas, his organization is “opposed to allowing the expansion when there is already service available.”

“Because when my members compete with the municipals, then we’re also on their pole attachments and we’re paying taxes — ad valorem taxes and sales tax and other local taxes — and governmental agencies many times are exempt from those type of taxes,” Knowles said.

However, Bowling called that a “strawman” argument.

“There’s no advantage to being in the same utility group that owns the pole, because their business plan that is approved and checked by the comptroller has to show that that has been paid for,” Bowling said.

But while state-level Republicans seek to strike down the restriction, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn. 07, has introduced legislation to block the FCC decision at the federal level. Blackburn also criticized the FCC’s vote in support of regulating the internet as a “1930s era public utility” under “net neutrality.”

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Roe, Black, Blackburn Release Statements on DHS Funding Votes

Press release from U.S. Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn. 01; February 27, 2015:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Phil Roe, M.D. (R-TN) released the following statement after voting in support of a House motion to go to conference with the Senate on the House and Senate passed funding bills for the Department of Homeland Security. Roe voted against a three-week continuing resolution.

“The House acted six weeks ago to continue funding the Department of Homeland Security. Instead of allowing a vote on the House-passed bill or passing a bill of their own in a timely fashion, Senate Democrats blocked the Senate from doing anything – running out the clock and causing more uncertainty for the American people.

“As I’ve said before, my position isn’t changing and I’m not backing down. I’ve heard East Tennesseans loud and clear. President Obama’s unconstitutional executive amnesty must be stopped, and, because the president refuses to work with Congress to reverse these actions, this could be the only tool we have to make good on our promise to the American people to stop this out-of-control administration. I believe it’s time to for the Senate to come to the table so we can iron out our differences and have this debate.”

U.S. Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn. 06; February 27, 2015:

Washington, D.C. – Today Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06) released the below statement following the House’s failure to pass H.J. Res. 35, legislation to continue funding for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through March 19th. Earlier today, Congressman Black also voted for H.R. 240 which would allow the House to enter into a conference committee to reconcile differences between the DHS appropriations bills passed in the two chambers. This legislation passed by a vote of 228 – 191.

“I am sorely disappointed in the 52 Republicans who joined with Nancy Pelosi and Congressional Democrats to defeat H.J. Res. 35,” said Congressman Diane Black. “Their ‘no’ vote was a gift to President Obama that, in turn, paves the way for Speaker Boehner to pass the flawed Senate funding bill with Democrat support. A short-term Continuing Resolution would have allowed us to avoid a Democrat-led DHS shutdown and fight the President’s overreaches on the firmest ground possible while continuing to pursue a favorable resolution through regular order in the form of a conference committee.  The failure of this bill is truly a missed opportunity to combat President Obama’s unconstitutional amnesty. I promised to fight this power grab to the end. I wish my colleagues would have joined me in keeping the fight alive.”

Congressman Black added, “I continue to steadfastly oppose the Senate-passed ‘clean’ appropriations bill that allows President Obama’s executive action to go unchecked for the rest of the fiscal year. I have advised my colleagues that if the House holds a vote on this measure, I will vote no. The President said himself 22 times that he does not have the authority to unilaterally rewrite our immigration laws and now a federal judge agrees. We are a nation of laws and the President’s lawless immigration overreach must not stand.”

Background:

Press release from U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.; February 27, 2015:

Congressman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) today rejected the Senate Homeland Security Bill that funds President Obama’s unconstitutional executive amnesty. Blackburn voted against a three week “clean” Department of Homeland Security (DHS) funding bill that may have allowed the President’s amnesty to take effect pending an injunction filed by a federal district court judge in Texas. She agreed to a seven day funding extension and joined her House colleagues in supporting a measure to request a Conference with the Senate to iron out a final solution that funds the DHS while also stopping the President’s lawless executive actions.

“The Senate must be pressured to act and use every tool at their disposal to stop executive amnesty.The American people are sick and tired of Congress kicking the can down the road when it comes to the security of our nation. The people spoke loud and clear last November when they put Republicans in charge of Congress to clean up the mess created by President Obama’s failed policies. The DHS bill approved by the House over a month ago provided the appropriate solution to start cleaning up the mess on our border created by this President’s lawless executive amnesty. However, Democrats continue to hold America and our Constitution hostage by playing procedural games and gimmicks in the Senate.

“Democrat arguments that Republicans are jeopardizing our national security are disingenuous. Democrats were silent while our southern border was being overrun last summer. Their support for the President’s amnesty has made America less secure and turned every state into a border state and every town into a border town. They continue to standby as President Obama unilaterally re-writes immigration law from the Oval Office, thereby nullifying the laws passed by previous Congresses.

“We must be mindful of our responsibility to ensure the Department of Homeland Security has resources necessary to keep our nation safe. The DHS bill passed by the House fulfilled that obligation and took appropriate action to block the illegal amnesty actions taken by this President that put our country’s security further at risk.

“The Senate should have enough respect for the House and the legislative process to take up the House bill, debate it and offer amendments. That’s the way our system of government is supposed to work. It’s time for the Senate to do its job.”

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Blackburn: Net Neutrality a ‘Trojan Horse’ For Gov’t Takeover of Internet

Press release from U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn. 07; February 26, 2015:

Congressman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) today issued the following statement in response to the FCC’s vote in favor of regulating the Internet as a utility.

“Today the FCC voted to regulate the Internet like a 1930s era public utility. It is indisputable that re-classifying the Internet in this manner will lead to billions of dollars in new fees and taxes for consumers. More importantly, Title II Net Neutrality is a Trojan horse for a government takeover of the Internet. The courts have already rejected the FCC’s attempts to regulate the Internet. The light touch that has allowed the Internet to prosper will be replaced by a heavy-handed approach that will stifle innovation and hand control over placement of content to the government.

“Now that the FCC has voted to approve the Obama Internet plan, the American people will get to find out what’s in it. I look forward to reviewing the President’s 300-page plan when it is made public. As the Wall Street Journal noted, while the FCC conducted an open notice and comment period, Obama aides secretly gathered Internet activists behind closed doors at the White House to write the real rules. The undue influence exerted by the White House has left a cloud hanging over the ‘independent’ FCC and this entire process.

“Unfortunately, the American people are no stranger to being deceived by this Administration (see Politifact 2013 Lie of The Year). The President’s pledge of rules preserving‘openness’sounds eerily similar to‘If you like your health care plan, you can keep it.’”

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Blackburn Files Bill to Block FCC From Overriding State Municipal Broadband Laws

Press release from U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn. 07; February 26, 2015:

Congressman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) today introduced legislation to prevent the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from overriding state and local municipal broadband laws.

The Blackburn-Tillis legislation says that the FCC cannot pre-empt states with municipal broadband laws already on the books, or any other states that subsequently adopt such municipal broadband laws. The bill also includes a Sense of Congress stating that the FCC does not have the legal authority to prohibit states from implementing municipal broadband restrictions. Original co-sponsors of the House legislation included Representatives Mike Pompeo (R-KS), Robert Pittenger (R-NC), Renee Ellmers (R-NC), Mark Meadows (R-NC), and David Rouzer (R-NC).

Earlier today, the FCC voted to effectively overturn North Carolina and Tennessee state laws that set requirements and conditions on municipalities competing with the private sector in the broadband marketplace.

“The FCC’s decision to grant the petitions of Chattanooga, Tennessee and Wilson, North Carolina is a troubling power grab,” Blackburn said. “States are sovereign entities that have Constitutional rights, which should be respected rather than trampled upon. They know best how to manage their limited taxpayer dollars and financial ventures. Ironically, they will now be burdened by the poor judgment of a federal government that is over $18 trillion in debt and clearly cannot manage its own affairs.

“I’m pleased to be working with Senator Tillis on this important issue. As former state legislators, we strongly believe in States’ rights and will fight the FCC’s liberal agenda. Chairman Wheeler’s regulatory appetite appears to know no bounds and is seeping dangerously into the lives of Americans. It is time for Congress to assert itself and protect States once again from unelected Washington bureaucrats.”

“It is disturbing, yet not surprising, that the FCC and Chairman Wheeler are attempting to deny the sovereign right of states to make their own laws,” said Senator Tillis. “After witnessing how some local governments wasted taxpayer dollars and accumulated millions in debt through poor decision making, the legislatures of states like North Carolina and Tennessee passed commonsense, bipartisan laws that protect hardworking taxpayers and maintain the fairness of free-market competition. Representative Blackburn and I recognize the need for Congress to step in and take action to keep unelected bureaucrats from acting contrary to the expressed will of the American people through their state legislatures.”

Click here to read the bill text of the States’ Rights Municipal Broadband Act

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Blackburn, Cohen, Cooper, DesJarlais Co-sponsor Bill to End Use of Ticket-purchasing Bots

Press release from U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn. 07; February 4, 2015:

U.S. Representatives Marsha Blackburn (TN-07), Steve Cohen (TN-09), Scott DesJarlais (TN-04), and Jim Cooper (TN-05) today introduced H.R. 708, the Better Online Ticket Sales (BOTS) Act.

H.R. 708 would make the use of bots to circumvent security measures employed by ticketing sites an “unfair and deceptive practice” under the Federal Trade Commission Act, and a crime under Title 18 of the U.S. Code. It would also create a private right of action whereby parties harmed by bots can sue in federal court to recover damages.

“I am pleased to be working on a bi-partisan basis with the Tennessee delegation on this important legislation,” Rep. Blackburn said. “Scalpers have been taking advantage of computer hacking software (BOTS) to circumvent restrictions put in place by on-line ticketing agents for years. They purchase tickets in mass quantities and sell them at a considerably marked up rate, which hurts fans of live entertainment who get priced out of the market. The Live Entertainment industry goes to great lengths to build relationships with its fans and ensure that they will access to shows. The BOTS Act will allow FTC enforcement, criminal sanctions, and a private right of action to be brought against on-line scalpers. It is time to level the on-line ticket playing field for fans of live entertainment.”

“With many fans already finding ticket prices for their favorite artists and events too high, it is disappointing that scalpers would seek to extract even more money out of consumers by using unfair ticket-purchasing and reselling practices,” said Rep. Cohen. “The BOTS Act would help end these anti-consumer tactics and clarify that using computer programs to snap up all available tickets to resell at a much higher price is, in fact, illegal under the Federal Trade Commission Act.”

“I am proud to have cosponsored this commonsense legislation that cracks down on deceptive ticket scalpers,” Rep. DesJarlais said. “For too long, scam artists have used computer hacking software to drastically increase the cost of attending an event. This bill protects American consumers by making the use of BOTS illegal.”

“Computer programs shouldn’t be allowed to cheat people out of fair ticket prices and great entertainment,” Rep. Cooper said.

Organizations supporting this bipartisan legislation include The Recording Academy, Live Nation Entertainment, as well as the Tennessee Sports and Entertainment Industry Coalition.

Daryl Friedman, Chief Advocacy & Industry Relations Officer of The Recording Academy praised the legislation saying: “The relationship that forms when an artist connects to a fan through his or her music is at the core of what makes music special. Artists try to keep their tickets affordable for their fans, but scalpers move in and drive up the price by using automated ticket ‘bots’ to make it harder for fans to buy tickets to see their favorite artist perform live. On behalf of The Recording Academy, I want to thank Congressman Marsha Blackburn, along with Reps. Steve Cohen, Jim Cooper, and Scott DesJarlais, for introducing the ‘BOTS Act’ so that artists will be able to offer concert tickets to fans in the manner that they want, ensuring that the special connection between music lovers and music makers continues.”

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Roe, Black, Blackburn Praise Obamacare Repeal Legislation

Press release from U.S. Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn. 01; February 3, 2015:

Roe Statement on Obamacare Repeal Vote

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the House passed legislation to repeal Obamacare and to direct the committees of jurisdiction in Congress to develop a replacement bill that increases access to health insurance, lowers cost and improves quality. Rep. Phil Roe, M.D. (R-TN) was unable to be in Washington for the vote because of a family illness, but released the following statement on the legislation:

“As an outspoken opponent of Obamacare, I was proud to cosponsor this legislation, which repeals the president’s health care law and lays the groundwork for a patient-centered alternative. I am glad the House passed this bill, and I hope the Senate will take up this important legislation so we can keep our promise to protect the American people from this terribly flawed and unworkable law. I strongly support this measure and will continue to push for a full repeal of Obamacare and for alternative solutions that will lower costs and increase access to health care.”

“I want to repeal this bill and replace it with something a lot simpler that will actually work, which is why I introduced the American Health Care Reform Act. I’m still convinced we can right the wrongs of Obamacare, but it’s going to take a complete overhaul. I will continue to push conservative, market-based health care reform that will actually lower the cost of health care for American families while allowing them the freedom and flexibility to make their own health care decisions.”

In the last Congress, Rep. Roe introduced the Republican Study Committee’s alternative to Obamacare. The bill, H.R. 3121, the American Health Care Reform Act, had more than 130 cosponsors. More information about H.R. 3121 can be found here.

Press release from U.S. Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn. 06; February 3, 2015:

Rep. Black on House Floor: Obamacare “Hurts the Very People It Pretends to Help”

[youtube height=”HEIGHT” width=”WIDTH”]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KzspXtP28k[/youtube]

Washington, D.C. – Today Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06), a member of the Ways & Means Health Subcommittee and nurse for more than 40 years, spoke on the House floor in support of H.R. 596. If enacted, this legislation would repeal the misnamed Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare, and direct appropriate House committees to devise a patient-centered replacement to this law. The bill, which Congressman Black cosponsored, is expected to receive a vote on final passage in the House later this afternoon. A transcript of Rep. Black’s remarks is below or click here for a video.

Mister Speaker, as a nurse for more than 40 years, I saw how decisions in Washington impacted real people.

I witnessed the effects of Congress’s actions on my patients’ faces and in their billing statements.

I understand better than most the need for health care reform but Obamacare was never the way to do it.

Just ask the 16,000 Tennesseans who lost their health insurance through CoverTN despite the President’s promise that “if you like your health care plan, you can keep it.” Or the 11 million small business employees that CMS says will see their premiums spike because of this law.

The results are in: Obamacare was a mistake that hurts the very people it pretends to help. That is why, today, I will vote to repeal this law once and for all.

I yield back.

Resources:

Press release from U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn. 07; February 3, 20

Blackburn Votes to Repeal Obamacare, Says Law is Too Expensive To Afford
Works to restore healthcare choice & options for American people

Congressman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) issued the following statement in support of legislation to repeal Obamacare, H.R. 596, which passed the House today as part of the continued effort to protect consumers from President Obama’s disastrous healthcare law.

“House Republicans remain united in our opposition to the damage done by Obamacare. It is clear to us and clear to our constituents that this law is not affordable,” Blackburn said. “Obamacare is taking us back to the day of old major medical policies with high deductibles, high premiums, and limited choice of doctors and hospitals.

“Over 100 bills have already been introduced this Congress to undo the damage caused by President Obama’s failed healthcare law. One of those bills is my legislation, H.R. 543, the Health Care Choice Act that would empower consumers by giving them the ability to purchase affordable health insurance coverage with a range of options from any provider in any state in the country.

“One thing is clear — Obamacare is not working. It’s time to get it off the books and replace it with common sense solutions that will restore choice and options for the American people.”

Click Here for Video of Blackburn’s Remarks in Support of the Bill