Is Congress turning off your televangelist?

Christian broadcasters speak out against a new measure from Rep. Steve Scalise.

It may be more difficult to find televangelist Pat Robertson on your TV dial under a new measure that has been introduced in the House.(STAN cdn-media_nationaljournal_comHONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

By Alex Brown

Congress is trying to take televangelists from your televisions.

That’s the argument from faith-based broadcasters who are pushing to preserve the nation’s “must-carry” rules. The rules, which date back to 1992, require cable and satellite companies to pick up local broadcast affiliates—even the small, less popular stations.

Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., is pushing legislation to scrap those rules as part of a broader effort to deregulate the airways. Online video and expansive satellite lineups have given consumers so many options that the government no longer needs to decide who carries what, Scalise said.

But local broadcasters say they provide a public good, and therefore providers should be barred from dropping them in favor of potentially more lucrative outside programming.

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