Senator Ted Cruz on the Senate Floor Tuesday attempted to pass the AM for Every Vehicle Act by unanimous consent. However, Senator Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, objected, blocking the effort to circumvent a full Senate vote.
Cruz, a Texas Republican, was joined by Senator Ed Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts. Cruz said on the floor, “I would note that Senator Markey is one of, if not the most liberal senator in this chamber, and I am one of, if not the most conservative Senator in this chamber. I don’t recall another bill where we have joined forces, and it speaks to the power of this issue that you see such deep agreement across ideological lines. When Senator Markey and I introduced that legislation, within days, one of the eight major car makers, Ford Motor Company, reversed course and announced they would now include AM radios on new cars and trucks. I think they viewed this coalition as a sign of the apocalypse.”
Senator Paul in his objection claims, “Mandating that all cars have AM radio is antithetical to any notion of limited government.” However Senator Cruz says AM radio is critical for communicating information during natural disasters and particularly important for rural communities.
Cruz said, “AM radio is consistently the most resilient to help people get out of harm’s way, whether it is getting out of the way of a hurricane or getting out of the way of a tornado or getting out of the way of a forest fire or any other disaster, AM radio is there to help people know where to go and how to keep their families alive. But secondly, AM radio is particularly important for rural America. And in rural America there are many parts of Texas, many parts of other states where farmers and ranchers, the only thing they can get is AM radio. And when they’re out on their farms or ranches, they rely on AM radio for weather reports, for crop reports, for news, sports, and entertainment. Taking away the option for rural America of AM radio is bad, bad for farmers and ranchers in America.”
While the attempt was unsuccessful, the National Association of Broadcasters views the effort positively, stating, “With 192 cosponsors in the House and 44 in the Senate, the bill has gained remarkable momentum, highlighting the widespread recognition of the importance of AM radio to the American people.”