Two Washington lawmakers with arts interests, Reps. Mary Bono, R-Cal. and Steney Hoyer, D-Md., are teaming with the Recording Academy and top artists to form the Recording Arts and Sciences Caucus.

Two Washington lawmakers with arts interests, Reps. Mary Bono, R-Cal. and Steney Hoyer, D-Md., are acting on behalf of the recording industry by forming the Recording Arts and Sciences Caucus.

The initiative was revealed today (April 19) at a Recording Academy town hall meeting in Nashville.

The caucus, which was initiated by Recording Academy request, will focus on the issues important to recording artists and producers, including piracy, copyright issues, new technologies and music education. Hoyer and Bono -- who has a history of recording artists interests -- will serve as co-chairs.

Also expected to participate are Mark Foley, R-Fla., the chair of the Republican Entertainment Industry Task Force, and Reps. John Conyers, Jr., D-Mich. and Howard Berman, D-Cal. NARAS president Neil Portnow and recording artist Clint Black also spoke at the announcement.

The lawmakers believe Congress needs to view the recording industry as composed of individuals running small companies as well as big corporations. Bono tells Billboard.biz that she plans to reach out to other artists' groups, such as the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists and the Recording Artists Coalition.