Five Automakers Band Together For Anti-AM Radio Lobbying

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    Even as the AM For Every Vehicle Act gains majority support in the US House of Representatives and nears a simple majority in the Senate, automakers increased their fourth-quarter lobbying efforts to prevent a government mandate of AM radio in cars.

    GM raised its lobbying spend in Q4 2023 to $2.82 million, tying it for the tenth-highest-spending corporate lobbyer with Google. The company spent $2.45 million in the third quarter. According to required lobbying disclosures, “S.1669/H.R. 3413, AM Radio” was listed among the policies a team of five, including some of GM’s senior lobbyists, pushed in the House of Representatives and the Senate.

    Honda was the second highest-spending lobbyer against the AM For Every Vehicle Act, with a quarter total of $681,520, spent toward the Senate, House, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the US Department of Transportation

    Ford lobbying rose slightly from $578,486 to $617,979. It listed “issues related to AM radio” as the cause for lobbying both houses of Congress as well as the Federal Communications Commission, and the DoT.

    Two manufacturers producing solely electric vehicles who were among the first to remove AM radio from their cars also contributed. Tesla used a portion of its $270,000 lobbying budget, while niche EV maker Rivian spent $40,000 in Q4.

    One noteworthy disappearance: Toyota cut its AM radio lobbying altogether at the end of 2023 as support grew on Capitol Hill.

    Despite the efforts of these automakers, the concentrated labor of state broadcast associations during a recent trip to Washington, DC to discuss policy matters with lawmakers proved very fruitful, showing the power that radio maintains. The push to maintain AM radio in cars has even spread to state legislatures, with Kansas State Representatives overwhelmingly passing a resolution calling on federal government to pass the AM Act.

    The AM For Every Vehicle Act is awaiting action on the Senate floor, with Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer yet to set a date for a formal vote.

    3 COMMENTS

    1. The “laissez faire” free market has left the common folks so desperate and miserable some are considering revolution. The free market has produced record disparity among CEO and worker pay. No, we learned long ago that capitalism is great, but laissez faire capitalism is a bust. Same goes for public safety. Food safety is at a low point for much the same reasons. True conservatives all claim the 1950’s were nirvana. Lets bring back the tax structure we had back then and you will unleash another boom. It’s not like the billionaires can even spend all that money – they are much like mythical dragons sitting on wealth they have no use for. Morbidly rich!

    2. You mean there is an ulterior motive? Generalized to all Republicans no less? Nope, I have not heard the many Republicans I know indicate this. Rather than “control” the free market, they just want a free market to determine prices and wages. And there is that “love” word, bandied about by both parties. No, it is serious business, driven by the conviction that free market delivers best in our imperfect human condition. That is different that wanting control.
      And it takes no special effort to keep the conservative talk shows on AM (mostly). It is driven by free market. Liberals have their talk shows there also.
      By the way, I believe there are corrupt politicians among Republicans as well as Democrats. But the rest are sincerely doing what they believe is right for the country. We are, unfortunately, a country very evenly divided over convictions of what ought to be and over the view of reality—of what is real and what is right. I find there is really no good done by either party in firing-off criticisms of the other that generalize to the whole and really do not address this deep divide. Perhaps we should form two countries?

    3. Here’s a case where the Republicans love to control the free market, and keep the conservative talk shows on the air.

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