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Congress passes law quieting loud TV commercials

Congress has finally found an issue that it can agree on: television commercials are too loud and something must be done about it. And so, yesterday, members of Congress approved the Commercial Advertising Loudness Mitigation, or CALM Act, aimed at keeping the volume levels of commercials from being louder than the TV programs that they interrupt.

The bill was passed by the Senate earlier this year and the House gave approval yesterday.

After becoming law, TV advertisers will have one year before the FCC will begin to regulate and enforce commercial volume controls. Prior, viewers’ only recourse was to hit the mute button if they found their ears under attack by loud commercials.

The House version of the CALM Act was sponsored by Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA). “Consumers have been asking for a solution to this problem for decades, and today they finally have it,” Rep. Eshoo said in a statement. “My bill reduces commercial volume, allowing them to only be as loud as the decibel level of regular programming. Consumers will no longer have to experience being blasted at. It’s a simple fix to a huge nuisance.”

Rep. Eshoo told the Wall Street Journal that the legislation was the most popular she had supported in her nearly two decades in Congress. “If I’d saved 50 million children from some malady, people would not have the interest that they have in this,” Eshoo said.

President Obama is expected to sign the legislation into law soon — prompting Billy Mays to immediately roll over in his grave.