Should all new autos include an AM radio tuner for emergencies? That is the topic a new legislative hearing seeks to address.

The hearing is scheduled for April 30 and is titled “Draft Legislation to Preserve Americans’ Access to AM Radio.” The hearing was announced by Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), and Ranking Member Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ).

READ MORE: BMW Has Recently Introduced Its Latest Line Of Electric Vehicles (EVs) As Part Of Its Strategic Endeavor To Compete With Both Tesla And Prominent Automobile Manufacturers In China

“areas around the country, particularly rule areas, rely on AM radio for important information. It is critical during public emergencies when other alert systems based on the electric grid and cell phone networks fail, which is why it is so concerning that some auto manufacturers are considering not including AM radios in new vehicles,” say Chairman Rodgers and Ranking Member Pallone. “We look forward to working together to preserve Americans’ access to this vital source of information.”

The hearing is accessible to the public and the press, and it will be webcast live for those interested in watching the debate. The hearing will be focused on developing draft legislative wording for the AM Radio for Every Vehicle Act of 2024. The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) CEO, Curtis LeGeyt, said the hearing is welcome and necessary to maintain Americans’ access to AM radio.

READ MORE: Concerns Over Chinese Self-Driving Car Technology Are Growing

“With 82 million monthly listeners, AM radio is the backbone of the Emergency Alert System and serves as a trusted source of factual news and diverse programming in communities across the country,” said LeGeyt. “Local broadcasters look forward to continue working with Chairwoman McMorris Rodgers, Ranking Member Pallone, and all committee members to ensure this critical communications medium remains accessible to listeners across the country.”

This bill’s draft text is identical to that found in the AM Radio for Every Vehicle Act of 2023. Despite having 48 cosponsors in the Senate and 245 in the House of Representatives, that bill was not passed by the Senate in December 2023.