ARRL is praising the work of US Representatives Joe Courtney (D-CT), Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), and Mike Rogers (R-AL) for their successful efforts in securing language in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2019 that aids in the survival and growth of Amateur Radio by giving radio amateurs the right to install an outdoor antenna at their residences with the approval of their homeowners associations. This language — text from the proposed Amateur Radio Parity Act (HR 555) — formed the basis for the Courtney-Hartzler-Rogers Amendment to the NDAA.
The amendment, offered by the bipartisan trio and accepted by the House Armed Services Committee by voice vote, will ensure that Amateur Radio operators will continue to play a vital role in disaster communication, when called upon. Amateur Radio has long-standing relationships with the Department of Defense through both the Military Auxiliary Radio Service (MARS) as well as spectrum sharing.
The Armed Services Committee passed the NDAA by a 60-to-1 voice vote after a 14-hour markup that ran well into the night. The bill now awaits House floor action. The Senate will begin its markup of the NDAA during the week of May 21.
Representatives Courtney and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) spearheaded the effort to include the Parity Act language in the NDAA. Both are cosponsors of the Parity Act, which has passed the House by voice vote twice in the past 2 years.
Recognizing the long-standing relationship between Amateur Radio and the Department of Defense, Congressman Kinzinger — who served multiple tours for the USAF as a fighter pilot and is still a Major in the Air National Guard, and Courtney, who represents the House district that includes ARRL Headquarters, have been champions of the legislation in Congress.
“The steadfast support of the Amateur Radio community continually demonstrated by Congressmen Kinzinger and Courtney has been a godsend,” said Hudson Director Mike Lisenco, N2YBB. “The Parity Act wouldn’t be anywhere close to this stage without their strong support, and our organization is extremely grateful.”
Lisenco, who serves as Chairman of the ARRL Board’s Legislative Advocacy Committee, also recognized other promoters of Amateur Radio, including House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden, W7EQI (R-OR), Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Frank Pallone (D-NJ), and House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-TX). “We are deeply grateful for their continued understanding and support,” Lisenco said.
ARRL will continue to press for support to enact the Amateur Radio Parity Act throughout the legislative process.