The Amateur Radio Parity Act, H.R. 1301, died an unbefitting death as the 114th Congress of the United States drew to a close today. After having passed the House of Representatives on a unanimous vote, the bill stalled in the Senate due to the intervention of only one member, Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL).
Over the course of the past year, Sen. Nelson has received thousands of e-mails, letters, and phone calls from concerned constituents asking for his support of H.R. 1301. Numerous meetings were held with his senior staff in an effort to move the legislation forward. Negotiations, which led to an agreement with the national association of homeowner’s associations and publicly supported by CAI and ARRL, were brushed aside by Sen. Nelson as irrelevant.
In a final meeting with the Senator’s staff earlier this week, it became clear that no matter what was said or done, the Senator opposed the bill and refused to allow it to move forward. Unfortunately, as the bill did not receive floor time, the only manner in which it could get passed in the Senate would be through a process that required unanimous consent, which means no one opposes the bill.
The legislation will be reintroduced in both houses of Congress after the 115th Session begins in January. We have already been in contact with the sponsors of the bill to allow for an early introduction, which will give us more time to obtain success. We believe that we can get his bill adopted given the fact that we were inches away from crossing the goal line. We will continue to need the support of the membership, particularly in Florida, as we go forward through the next year.