WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Commerce Committee Ranking Member Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today applauded committee passage of the bipartisan, bicameral AM Radio for Every Vehicle Act, legislation he introduced with Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) to require automakers maintain AM broadcast radio in vehicles. Upon committee passage of the AM Radio for Every Vehicle Act, Sen. Cruz said:
“AM radio serves a critical function during emergencies. It reliably gets important information to the public, which is why several former FEMA administrators and representatives of the emergency response community have called for AM radio to remain in vehicles. AM radio is also vital to free expression and viewpoint diversity. With low barriers to entry, it allows Americans, especially conservatives, to communicate their points of view and help free speech flourish. I am proud to have worked with Sen. Markey and our colleagues on both sides of the aisle on this legislation. It will have a big impact on our constituents who make AM radio part of their daily lives.”
The AM Radio for Every Vehicle Act would:
- Direct the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to issue a rule that requires automakers to maintain AM broadcast radio in their vehicles without a separate or additional payment, fee, or surcharge beyond the base price of the device;
- Require any automaker that sells vehicles without access to AM broadcast radio before the effective date of the NHTSA regulation to clearly disclose to consumers that the vehicle lacks access to AM broadcast radio; and
- Direct the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to study the reach and effectiveness of AM broadcast radio for alerting the public to emergencies relative to other technologies.
The AM Radio for Every Vehicle Act is co-sponsored by twenty-seven Republican and Democrat members of the Senate.
As Sens. Cruz and Markey wrote in an op-ed for Fox News, every month, more than 80 million Americans listen to AM radio, with 40% of radio listeners tuning in from their cars.
In Texas, over 88,000 jobs are tied to radio. As of 2018, over 1 million American jobs were tied to local radio.
In the wake of Ford’s announcement that it will keep AM radio in its 2024 vehicles, Sens. Cruz and Markey sent letters to BMW, Tesla, Mazda, Volkswagen, Polestar, Volvo, and Rivian, automakers that have either removed or plan to remove broadcast AM radio in their current and future vehicle models, urging the automakers to make a commitment to keep AM radio in their vehicles.
The AM Radio for Every Vehicle Act is supported by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), the National Association of Black-Owned Broadcasters (NABOB), the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB), the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB), the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the National Emergency Management Association, and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB).