"The Local Radio Freedom Act," the NAB-backed resolution circulating on Capitol Hill that opposes the introduction of "any new performance fee, tax, royalty, or other charge" on radio stations, has picked up nine more backers and now totals 135 House members from both parties, the NAB reported Tuesday (March 3).

The same resolution was promoted on the Hill during the 110th Congress and gained about 225 signatures. The resolution is a tool used by lobbyists to get politicians to publically voice their feelings, but it is not as binding as law.

Among the representatives who have signed on are Jason Altmire (D-Pa.), Mike Arcuri (D-N.Y.), Steve Austria (R-Ohio), Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), Melissa Bean (D-Ill.), Marion Berry (D-Ark.), Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), John Culberson (R-Texas), Geoff Davis (R-Ky.), Lincoln Davis (D-Tenn.), Charles Dent (R-Pa.), Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) and Norm Dicks (D-Wash.).

NAB credits the latest signers to a recent article in which country singer Brad Paisley credited radio for helping his music and recording career. "I have so many friends out there," Paisley said. "I think back over the years now, and it's amazing how much of my life has been impacted by radio people."

Meanwhile, more than 100 artists are on the Hill today, meeting with members of Congress, hoping to gain their support in order to push through the Performance Rights Act, legislation that would authorize the Library of Congress to craft a fee schedule for terrestrial broadcasters to pay performers and artists when their recorded works are broadcast on radio and television. Among the artists are Suzanne Vega; the Sounds of Blackness; Phil Soussan, the bass player for Ozzy Osbourne, Billy Idol and Edgar Winter, among others; Dan Workman of Sugar Hill Records, Freddie Fender, the Big Bopper, "Save the Best for Last" songwriter Phil Galdston and Craig Krampf, drummer, "Betty Davis Eyes" and '70s gold and platinum records.

The artists' lobbying effort was originally planned to coincide with a scheduled House Judiciary Committee hearing on the Act (H.R. 848) set for Wednesday morning (March 4), but the Committee postponed the hearing mid-Tuesday due to a scheduling conflict with the British Prime Minister's planned address to a Joint session of Congress at 10 a.m. on Wednesday.