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H.R. 583 (116th): Preventing Illegal Radio Abuse Through Enforcement Act

About the bill

What should be the fine for radio stations that operate without an FCC license, even though they usually serve underserved or minority communities?


From the stations that play top-40 hits like Ariana Grande to your local college’s radio channel, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is supposed to grant licenses and approve all U.S. radio stations. However, some people set up their own stations outside the official system, known as “pirate radio.”

These stations usually broadcast things that mainstream radio — whether music or talk radio — won’t. This article gives examples including Caribbean music that can’t get airtime on mainstream radio and call-in sessions where undocumented immigrants can speak with immigration attorneys.

Under President’s Trump pick to lead the FCC, Ajit Pai, the commission has taken a much …

Sponsor and status

Paul Tonko

Sponsor. Representative for New York's 20th congressional district. Democrat.

Read Text »
Last Updated: Jan 10, 2020
Length: 3 pages
Jan 16, 2019
116th Congress (2019–2021)

Enacted — Signed by the President on Jan 24, 2020

This bill was enacted after being signed by the President on January 24, 2020.

Pub.L. 116-109

9 Cosponsors (5 Republicans, 4 Democrats)


Position statements

What legislators are saying

Tonko Bill Cracking Down on Illegal Radio Broadcasts Signed into Law
    — Rep. Paul Tonko [D-NY20] (Sponsor) on Jan 27, 2020

Daines’ Bipartisan Bill to Stop Pirate Broadcasters Signed into Law
    — Sen. Steve Daines [R-MT] on Jan 26, 2020

My Votes – Week of February 25
    — Rep. Cathy Anne McMorris Rodgers [R-WA5] on Mar 1, 2019

More statements at ProPublica Represent...

What stakeholders are saying

R Street Institute estimates H.R. 583 will add $43 million in new spending through 2024.

Incorporated legislation

This bill incorporates provisions from:

S. 1228: PIRATE Act

Passed Senate (House next) on Jan 8, 2020. 100% incorporated. (compare text)


Jan 16, 2019

Bills and resolutions are referred to committees which debate the bill before possibly sending it on to the whole chamber.

Feb 25, 2019
Passed House (Senate next)

The bill was passed in a vote in the House. It goes to the Senate next. The vote was by voice vote so no record of individual votes was made.

Jan 8, 2020
Passed Senate

The bill was passed by both chambers in identical form. It goes to the President next who may sign or veto the bill. The vote was by Unanimous Consent so no record of individual votes was made.

Jan 24, 2020
Enacted — Signed by the President

The President signed the bill and it became law.

H.R. 583 (116th) was a bill in the United States Congress.

A bill must be passed by both the House and Senate in identical form and then be signed by the President to become law.

Bills numbers restart every two years. That means there are other bills with the number H.R. 583. This is the one from the 116th Congress.

This bill was introduced in the 116th Congress, which met from Jan 3, 2019 to Jan 3, 2021. Legislation not passed by the end of a Congress is cleared from the books.

How to cite this information.

We recommend the following MLA-formatted citation when using the information you see here in academic work:

“H.R. 583 — 116th Congress: Preventing Illegal Radio Abuse Through Enforcement Act.” 2019. February 7, 2023 <>

Where is this information from?

GovTrack automatically collects legislative information from a variety of governmental and non-governmental sources. This page is sourced primarily from, the official portal of the United States Congress. is generally updated one day after events occur, and so legislative activity shown here may be one day behind. Data via the congress project.