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Congress Agrees to Turn Down the Volume on Loud TV Commercials

The U.S. Congress, deadlocked on extending aid to the long-term jobless, agreed to help rid homes of loud television commercials.

The House today passed the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act, which would direct regulators to set limits on the volume of TV ads.

“I think that we will have more peace in homes across the country,” Representative Anna Eshoo, a California Democrat, said during debate Nov. 30.

The legislation directs the Federal Communications Commission to adopt standards set by TV broadcasters that would keep commercials from being louder than surrounding programming. It passed the Senate in September and needs President Barack Obama’s signature before becoming law.

“Consumers will no longer have to experience being blasted at,” Eshoo said. “It’s a simple fix to a huge nuisance.”

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a Rhode Island Democrat, said in a statement, “Americans experience the frustration of abrasively loud television commercials.”

“While this is far from the biggest issue we face, it will mean one less daily annoyance in our lives,” he said.

The broadcast industry has been working on the volume issue for several years, Dennis Wharton, a spokesman for the Washington-based National Association of Broadcasters, said in an e-mailed statement.

“We’re pleased that the fruits of our efforts will become apparent to TV viewers over time,” Wharton said.

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