September 12, 1996                         CONGRESSIONAL RECORD — SENATE                                                      S10429
SENATE       RESOLUTION—290—REL-                  reviled as the most lewd, crude, and         suggest that television’s problems have
  ATIVE TO MAJOR BROADCAST                        rude prime-time lineup in television         disappeared practically overnight, or
  TELEVISION NETWORKS                             history, and for helping to drag our so-     that the viewing public is suddenly sat-
  Mr. LIEBERMAN (for himself, Mrs.                cietal standards down yet another            isfied. The reality is that there is still
HUTCHISON, Mr. NUNN, Mr. DEWINE, Mr.              notch.                                       too much gratuitous and gruesome vio-
                                                    So today, with the debut of the 1996       lence not only available to but tar-
                                                  fall season upon us, I think it is only      geted at our children; there are still
                                                  fair and right to focus on what I see as     too many shows that seek to shock and
and Mr. HATCH) submitted the follow-
                                                  some truly positive developments on          titillate, that add to the degradation of
ing resolution; which was referred to             this front, and to give praise to the tel-
the Committee on Commerce, Science,                                                            our culture and fuel the ‘‘anything-
                                                  evision industry where praise is due.        goes’’ mentality that I believe is at the
and Transportation:                                 Over the last 18 months, we have seen
                  S. RES. 290                                                                  root of the moral decline America is
                                                  industry leaders embrace the V-chip,         experiencing today.
  Expressing the sense of the Senate that the     which I was proud to cosponsor along
major broadcast television networks should
                                                                                                 A survey released by the American
                                                  with my colleague from North Dakota,         Medical Association this week left lit-
revive their traditional ‘‘Family Hour’’ and      Senator CONRAD, and accept our chal-
voluntarily reserve the first hour of prime                                                    tle doubt that the public remains high-
                                                  lenge to create a self-enforced ratings      ly concerned, showing that 75 percent
time broadcasting for family-oriented pro-
                                                  system that will give parents more in-       of parents are ‘‘disgusted with media
  Whereas the major broadcast television          formation about the programs coming
                                                                                               violence.’’ In response, the AMA took
networks once adhered to a voluntary, self-       into their homes. We have seen the na-
                                                                                               the significant step of sending out
enforced practice of setting aside the first      tion’s broadcasters acknowledge their
                                                                                               guidelines to 60,000 doctors nationwide
hour of prime time for programming suitable       obligation to promote more edu-
                                                                                               to help educate them and the parents
for audiences of all ages, especially young       cational shows for children, and com-
children;                                         mit to airing every week at least 3          they serve about the negative effects of
  Whereas the major networks have recently        hours of programming that will enrich        media violence on children.
abandoned this practice and chosen to fill                                                       But I firmly believe that television is
                                                  young minds and promote positive val-
this hour with programs laden with sexually                                                    making progress. I also believe that
suggestive language and behavior and ma-
                                                    And perhaps most encouraging of all,       many of the people who run the tele-
ture themes;                                                                                   vision industry want us to know that
  Whereas according to the most recent            we have seen—quite literally seen—
                                                  some modest yet significant changes in       they’re not walking away from the re-
Nielsen ratings, approximately 9,000,000 chil-
                                                  the quality of the product flowing over      sponsibility that goes along with their
dren between the ages of 2 and 11 watch tele-
vision during an average minute between 8:00      the airwaves. The deluge of perversity       enormous power and influence. So as
p.m. and 9:00 p.m. e.s.t;                         and degradation coming out of the            we continue to give voice to the
  Whereas the clear majority of American          trash talk TV shows has receded, and         public’s discontent, it is also important
parents are concerned about the negative in-      Rosie O’Donnell has shown with her           to encourage the responsiveness indus-
fluence of television on younger viewers, who                                                  try leaders have already shown, albeit
watch on average 21 hours of television a
                                                  quick wit and engaging personality
                                                  that clean talk can clean up in the rat-     sometimes grudgingly, and to encour-
week;                                                                                          age them to keep moving forward.
  Whereas that concern was recently dem-          ings. Also, in response to the deep con-
                                                  cern the American people have ex-              That is why I am joining with 10 of
onstrated again in a poll conducted by U.S.
News & World Report which found that 76           pressed about the damage done by tele-       my colleagues today to submit what we
percent of Americans believe that television      vised violence, the major broadcast          see as a very positive sense-of-the-Sen-
contributes to the problem of teenage preg-       networks have made a real effort to re-      ate resolution, one that expresses our
nancy, 83 percent believe that television con-    duce the number of graphic killings,         support for the direction the television
tributes to casual sex, 90 percent believe that   assaults and rapes depicted during           industry seems to be moving in. Quite
television contributes to teenagers having                                                     simply, this resolution asks the major
sex too soon, and 92 percent believe that tel-
                                                  prime time, and it has made a notice-
                                                  able difference.                             broadcast networks to help parents do
evision contributes to violence on our
                                                    And, in terms of the new fall season,      their jobs by bringing back what was
  Whereas the Senate is comprised of elected      the reviews I’ve read indicate that          once known as the ‘‘Family Hour’’. It
representatives who have a responsibility to      many of the shows premiering in the          urges the networks to once again set
give voice to the concerns of their constitu-     next few days turn away from the             aside the first hour of prime-time for
ents; and                                         smuttiness that characterized so many        programs that I can watch together
  Whereas the Senate expresses public senti-      of the sitcoms that debuted last year        with my wife and our 8-year-old daugh-
ment in this resolution, and does not at-         and offended and disgusted so many           ter without fearing that I will be em-
tempt to establish by law or otherwise man-                                                    barrassed or my values will be as-
date or dictate any requirements regarding
                                                  viewers. Even more promising, the net-
                                                  works seem more willing to take a            saulted.
the content of television programming: Now,
therefore, be it                                  chance on family-oriented shows that           In recent years, that is something
  Resolved, That it is the sense of the Senate    seek to uplift as they entertain and to      that most parents have been legiti-
that the major broadcast television net-          reinforce rather than tear down our          mately fearful of. One of the most com-
works should renew their commitment to            common values. Programs such as              mon complaints we hear about tele-
voluntarily reserving the first hour of prime     ‘‘Second Noah,’’ which ABC chose to          vision concerns the proliferation of
time for programming suitable for members         bring back this fall, and ‘‘Touched By       lewd jokes and gratuitous sex scenes in
of American families of all ages.                                                              the early hours of prime-time, when
                                                  an Angel,’’ which CBS stuck by when it
  Mr. LIEBERMAN. Mr. President, I                 struggled to gain an audience and is         many young children are watching.
rise today to continue a dialog on an             now one of the networks prized assets.       Many parents feel that this kind of
issue that many Americans, especially               I think it’s worth noting to my col-       content goes far beyond being inappro-
millions of parents, care deeply about:           leagues that the producer of ‘‘Touched       priate and offensive. They believe, as
the profound and often harmful influ-             by An Angel,’’ Martha Williamson, will       do we, that these messages are harmful
ence that television is having on our             be honored at reception in the Capitol       to their children’s development and un-
children and our country.                         tonight for her commitment to creat-         dercut the fundamental values that
  As my colleagues know, the public’s             ing entertainment that elevates us and       parents are trying to instill in their
increasing anger about the pervasive              appeals to our better rather than our        families.
presence of sex, violence, and vulgarity          baser natures. I am proud to be co-            Our resolution asks the networks to
on the small screen has resulted in               hosting this reception, at which Ms.         recognize the difficulties parents face
widespread criticism of the television            Williamson will premiere her new se-         in shielding their children from this
industry. I believe that much of that             ries, ‘‘Promised Land,’’ also on CBS         kind of content, and to help meet them
criticism has been warranted. Just                this fall, and I would encourage Mem-        halfway. In effect, it asks them to do
about a year ago this week I came to              bers to attend.                              no more than to return to a practice
the floor to take the major networks to             Mr. President, by calling attention to     they once adhered to willingly. This is
task for sponsoring what was widely               these positive signs I do not mean to        a case where the networks for long
S10430                                     CONGRESSIONAL RECORD — SENATE                                                September 12, 1996
time acted quite responsibly and did a              KENNEDY AMENDMENT NO. 5259                         At the appropriate place, insert the follow-
public service by creating a safe haven                                                              ing new title:
                                                    (Ordered to lie on the table.)
for parents with young children. That                                                                    TITLE —PROTECTION OF PATIENT
                                                    Mr. KENNEDY submitted an amend-                               COMMUNICATIONS
is one rerun that most American fami-             ment intended to be proposed by him
lies want desperately to see again.                                                                  SEC.   01. SHORT TITLE; FINDINGS.
                                                  to the bill, H.R. 3756, surpa; as follows:           (a) SHORT TITLE.—This title may be cited
  We do not want to pass any law or                 At the appropriate place, add the following      as the ‘‘Patient Communications Protection
dictate what programs can or can’t be             new section:                                       Act of 1996’’.
shown during the 8 o’clock hour. We                 SEC. . (a) None of the funds appropriated          (b) FINDINGS.—Congress finds the follow-
just want to reiterate to the people              under Federal law for fiscal year 1997 to the      ing:
who run the networks that this an                 Legal Services Corporation shall be expended         (1) Patients need access to all relevant in-
issue of grave concern to American                for any purpose prohibited or limited by, or       formation to make appropriate decisions,
                                                  contrary to, any of the provisions of section      with their physicians, about their health
families, and that the family hour is a                                                              care.
                                                  504 of Public Law 104–134 (110 Stat. 1321–53),
reasonable, commonsense concept that              and all funds appropriated under Federal law         (2) Restrictions on the ability of physicians
has overwhelming support. A compan-               for fiscal year 1997 to the Legal Services Cor-    to provide full disclosure of all relevant in-
ion resolution in the House has at-               poration shall be subject to the same terms        formation to patients making health care
tracted 97 cosponsors, and 20 Senators            and conditions set forth in such section, ex-      decisions violate the principles of informed
have already endorsed the family hour             cept as provided in subsection (b) or as oth-      consent and practitioner ethical standards.
                                                                                                       (3) The offering and operation of health
movement, having signed a petition we             erwise provided in Federal law.
                                                                                                     plans affect commerce among the States.
sent to the network presidents in                   (b) Notwithstanding subsection (a), sub-
                                                                                                     Health care providers located in one State
April.                                            section (a)(11) of such section 504 shall not be
                                                                                                     serve patients who reside in other States as
                                                  construed to prohibit a recipient from using
  Mr. President, the resonance of this            funds derived from a source other than the
                                                                                                     well as that State. In order to provide for
issue was confirmed to me by a con-                                                                  uniform treatment of health care providers
                                                  Corporation to provide related legal assist-       and patients among the States, it is nec-
versation I had with a leading network            ance to—                                           essary to cover health plans operating in one
executive last year. He confided in me              (1) an alien who has been battered or sub-       State as well as those operating among the
that he regrets not being able to sit             jected to extreme cruelty in the United            several States.
down with his children and watch tele-            States by—                                         SEC.   02. PROHIBITION OF INTERFERENCE WITH
vision together as a family, much as he             (A)(i) a spouse or parent of the alien; or                    CERTAIN   MEDICAL   COMMUNICA-
                                                    (ii) a member of the spouse’s or parent’s                     TIONS.
did with his parents years ago, much as           family residing in the same household as the
I did with my parents when I was                                                                        (a) IN GENERAL.—
                                                  alien (in a case in which the spouse or par-          (1) PROHIBITION OF CERTAIN PROVISIONS.—
young. This is one of the great joys of           ent, respectively, consented or acquiesced to      Subject to paragraph (2), an entity offering a
the medium, and it is disappointing to            such battery or cruelty); or                       health plan (as defined in subsection (d)(2))
many parents today that they cannot                 (B) any other person with whom the alien         may not include any provision that prohibits
share in it with their children.                  has a relationship covered by the domestic         or restricts any medical communication (as
  It doesn’t have to be that way, as              violence laws of the State in which the alien      defined in subsection (b)) as part of—
                                                  resides or in which an incident of the battery        (A) a written contract or agreement with a
CBS Entertainment has made clear
                                                  or cruelty took place; or                          health care provider,
this fall, when its president pledged               (2)(A) an alien whose child has been bat-           (B) a written statement to such a provider,
publicly that CBS would only air pro-             tered or subjected to extreme cruelty in the       or
grams at 8 o’clock that the whole fam-            United States by a spouse or parent of the            (C) an oral communication to such a pro-
ily could watch together. Congress can            alien (in a case in which the alien did not ac-    vider.
                                                  tively participate in the battery or cruelty);        ‘‘(2) CONSTRUCTION.—Nothing in this sec-
help by adopting this resolution and                                                                 tion shall be construed as preventing an en-
encouraging—encouraging, not forc-                or
                                                    (B) a member of the spouse’s or parent’s         tity from exercising mutually agreed upon
ing—the television industry to follow                                                                terms and conditions not inconsistent with
                                                  family residing in the same household as the
CBS’s lead and help restore the peace             alien (in a case in which the spouse or par-       paragraph (1), including terms or conditions
of mind that so many families are                                                                    requiring a physician to participate in, and
                                                  ent, respectively, consented or acquiesced to
seeking. Along with my original co-                                                                  cooperate with, all programs, policies, and
                                                  such battery or cruelty and the alien did not
sponsors, Senators HUTCHISON, NUNN,                                                                  procedures developed or operated by the per-
                                                  actively participate in the battery or cru-
                                                                                                     son, corporation, partnership, association, or
and DEWINE, I strongly urge my col-               elty).
                                                                                                     other organization to ensure, review, or im-
leagues on both sides of the aisle to               (c) Subsection (b) shall apply, notwith-
                                                                                                     prove the quality of health care.
support it, to make a strong statement            standing the enactment of Federal law after           (3) NULLIFICATION.—Any provision de-
on behalf of America’s families, and I            the date of enactment of this Act, unless          scribed in paragraph (1) is null and void.
                                                  such law explicitly excludes such application         (b) MEDICAL COMMUNICATION DEFINED.—In
look forward to its adoption.                     by reference to this section.                      this section, the term ‘‘medical communica-
                                                    (d) As used in this section:                     tion’’ means a communication made by a
                                                    (1) The term ‘‘battered or subjected to ex-      health care provider with a patient of the
     AMENDMENTS SUBMITTED                         treme cruelty’’ has the meaning given the          provider (or the guardian or legal representa-
                                                  term ‘‘was battered by or was the subject of       tive of such patient) with respect to the pa-
                                                  extreme cruelty’’ under regulations issued         tient’s physical or mental condition or treat-
   THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT                        pursuant to section 204 of the Immigration         ment options.
    APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 1997                      and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1154) (as               (e) ENFORCEMENT THROUGH IMPOSITION OF
                                                  amended by subtitle G of the Violence              CIVIL MONEY PENALTY—
                                                  Against Women Act of 1994 (Pub. L. 103–322;           (1) IN GENERAL.—Any entity that violates
                                                  108 Stat. 1953)).                                  paragraph (1) of subsection (a) shall be sub-
     BYRD AMENDMENT NO. 5258                        (2) The terms ‘‘legal assistance’’ and ‘‘re-     ject to a civil money penalty of up to $25,000
  (Ordered to lie on the table.)                  cipient’’ have the meanings given the terms        for each violation. No such penalty shall be
  Mr. BYRD submitted an amendment                 in section 1002 of the Legal Services Corpora-     imposed solely on the basis of an oral com-
intended to be proposed by him to the             tion Act (42 U.S.C. 2996a).                        munication unless the communication is
                                                    (3) The term ‘‘related legal assistance’’        part of a pattern or practice of such commu-
bill (H.R. 3756) making appropriations            means legal assistance directly related to         nications and the violation is demonstrated
for the Treasury Department, the Unit-            the prevention of, or obtaining of relief from,    by a preponderance of the evidence.
ed States Postal Service, the Executive           the battery or cruelty described in sub-              (2) PROCEDURES.—The provisions of sub-
Office of the President, and certain              section (a).                                       sections (c) through (l) of section 112SA of
independent agencies, for the fiscal                                                                 the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1320a–7a)
year ending September 30, 1997, and for                                                              shall apply to civil money penalties under
                                                        WYDEN (AND KENNEDY)                          paragraph (1) in the same manner as they
other purposes; as follows:                                AMENDMENT NO. 5260                        apply to a penalty or proceeding under sec-
   On page 49, line 18, insert before the colon     (Ordered to lie on the table.)                   tion 1128A(a) of such Act.
‘‘: Provided, That of such amount provided                                                              (d) DEFINITIONS.—For purposes of this sec-
                                                    Mr. WYDEN (for himself, Mr. KEN-
for non-prospectus construction projects                                                             tion:
$250,000 shall be available until expended for    NEDY, and Mr. KYL) submitted an
                                                                                                        (1) HEALTH CARE PROVIDER.—The term
the acquisition, lease, construction, and         amendment intended to be proposed by               ‘‘health care provider’’ means anyone li-
equipping of flexiplace work telecommuting        them to the bill, H.R. 3756, supra; as             censed or certified under State law to pro-
centers in the State of West Virginia’’.          follows:                                           vide health care services.

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