S. 134, Violent Content Research Act of 2013

Cost Estimate
August 29, 2013

As ordered reported by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation on July 30, 2013

S. 134 would direct the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and the Department of Health and Human Services to request the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to conduct a study to determine whether exposure to violent video games and programming has a harmful effect on children’s behavior that can be distinguished from other factors. S. 134 also would direct the agencies to request the NAS to make a report on the results of the study available to each agency as well as the Congress.

Based on information from the NAS, CBO estimates that implementing the provisions of S. 134 would cost $850,000 over the 2014-2018 period, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts. The bill does not establish a process for determining how this cost would be split among the three agencies; the net discretionary cost of implementing S. 134 would depend on that allocation because one agency, the FCC, is authorized to collect fees sufficient to offset the cost of its regulatory activities each year. The portion of the report’s cost that is allocated to the FCC would be offset by those fees, assuming appropriation actions consistent with the agency’s authority, which would reduce the bill’s net cost. Enacting S. 134 would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.

S. 134 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal governments.