Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) this week offered legislation identical to the V-chip bill sponsored in the House by Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.).

Both bills would require insertion of microchip technology in all new TV sets to permit parents to block out — with the push of a button — all programs that carry a violence rating.

At a press conference Tuesday, Dorgan said Americans would have to be living in a “near coma” not to believe there is some correlation between TV violence and street violence. He said the V-chip bill represents a “major step” in giving parents the ability to control viewing habits of children.

Dorgan is a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, the key panel that oversees broadcast and cable-related issues. Dorgan has also sponsored a bill that would require the Federal Communications Commission to survey the major broadcast and cable networks four times a year and issue a “violence report card” on each program.

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