Missouri Congressman Roy Blunt today voted against delaying the transition from analog to digital television broadcasting, recommended by the 9/11 Commission.
"My vote today was primarily about public safety," Blunt said. "Every day that goes by without this transition is another day that our firefighters, policemen and EMTs cannot effectively communicate.
"I'm glad the House defeated this unnecessary delay, but we need to do more to ease this change for consumers. TV stations are ready; first responders are ready; now, we need to continue to ensure that consumers are ready."
The transition to digital television was recommended by the 9/11 Commission to free up parts of the valuable broadcast spectrum for public safety communications and allows first responders nationwide to communicate on a unified public safety channel.
Blunt also supports legislation to help correct an accounting problem stemming from the way the government-established coupon program, developed to defray the consumer cost of purchasing digital converter boxes, is administered. If passed, the legislation will clear the current backlog of coupons.
Today's vote follows a letter from the Fraternal Order of Police expressing public safety concerns that a delay will cause.
The conversion to digital television only affects consumers receiving their television signal from over-the-air antennas instead of cable or satellite.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Blunt: Vote against digital conversion delay was a vote for safety
The following news release was issued by Seventh District Congressman Roy Blunt following his vote against extending the digital conversion date for four months. The delay failed to gain the needed two-thirds majority in the House: