House Speaker McCarthy gets behind bipartisan effort to keep AM radio in new electric cars
A House Subcommittee held a hearing on Tuesday dedicated to the bill, which was introduced to require all new automobiles to come included with AM radio as automakers such as BMW, Porsche, Audio and Volvo remove it from select new vehicle models.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is now backing a bipartisan congressional effort to keep AM radios in new electric cars, lending top-level support for what supporters say is an "important lifeline" in emergency situations and for rural America.
A spokesman for the speaker earlier this week confirmed his support to Just the News.
McCarthy's support could indeed swing a few more GOP votes in the House to get the legislation passed in his chamber, but the measure already has bipartisan support in both chambers.
Lawmakers including New Jersey Reps. Josh Gottheimer, a Democrat, and Tom Kean Jr., a Republican, are supporting the AM for Every Vehicle Act, which was introduced in May.
Sens. Edward Markey, D-Mass., and Ted Cruz, R-Texas, are supporting the Senate version.
Vehicle manufacturers have said electric vehicle motors interfere with the AM radio signal, which can create interference in the form of a buzzing sound.
The House Communications and Technology Subcommittee held a hearing on Tuesday dedicated to the bill, which was introduced to require all new automobiles include with AM radio as automakers such as BMW, Porsche, Audio and Volvo remove it from select new vehicle models.
Makers of electric-power cars such as Tesla require owners to pay a monthly fee for its LTE-based premium connectively service as a way to access AM radio.
“This is in part a result of the Biden administration’s rush to green agenda as they push for electric vehicles, because electric vehicle batteries cause interference to AM frequencies, resulting in bad reception," House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., said at the hearing Tuesday.
She also said: “In many parts of my district, FM radio is spotty and there is no access to broadband. So AM radio is the only option, which is why it’s concerning that some vehicle manufacturers have taken steps recently to remove AM radios from new car models."
McMorris and others also argue that without access to AM radio, Americans across the country would "lose access to vital information services like the National Public Warning System."
The National Association of Farm Broadcasting last month told the Senate Agricultural Committee: "AM radio is an important lifeline and source of information to rural America, not just during times of emergency events, but every single day."
According to Gottheimer's office, the legislation would "direct the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to issue a rule that requires automakers to maintain AM broadcast radio in their vehicles without a separate or additional payment, fee, or surcharge."
Organizations such as the National Association of Broadcasters are publicly opposing the effort to remove AM radio from electric vehicles. NAB has launched a "Depend on AM radio" campaign.
Ford recently announced it would include AM radio in its vehicles going forward and restore it with a software update in models that currently lack AM radio.
Just the News reached out to House Majority Leader Steve Scalise's office to find out when the AM radio bill is scheduled to get a floor vote but did not receive a response before this story was published.