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PIPA's Own Sponsors Backing Off Bill; Ask Senate To Hold Off On Voting [Updated!]

from the wow dept

It looks like the internet uprising really is having an impact. Senator Ben Cardin — a co-sponsor of PIPA — has put out a press release saying that he won’t vote for the bill as written today, after hearing from many constituents. Oddly, he says he will remain a co-sponsor of the bill, but wants to amend the bill to take into account the concerns he’s hearing.

Similarly, six other Senators, including two co-sponsors — Senators Orrin Hatch, Chuck Grassley (the two co-sponsors) along with John Cornyn, Jeff Sessions, Mike Lee and Tom Coburn — have asked Harry Reid not to bring the cloture vote he’s promised to bring on the 24th. In other words, as many of us have been asking: don’t rush this. This is huge news. With Senators — including three co-sponsors — coming out so forcefully to Harry Reid that this bill needs more time, Reid is much more likely to delay the cloture vote, and to leave PIPA aside for other business for the time being. Either way, the letter (embedded below) makes it clear that more debate on the issues in the bill were promised and never held. And, they note, that they’re hearing more and more and more about the problems in the bill, and believe they should be discussed openly, before anyone is voting on cloture or on the bill itself.

All of this, by the way, is because tons of you (tons!) have stepped up and reached out to your Reps. and Senators and let them know that these bills are unacceptable. Let’s see if Harry Reid, Patrick Leahy and Lamar Smith finally admit that they, too, can hear you.

Update: Harry Reid apparently cannot hear you. He has come out with a statement saying that the cloture vote will continue on January 24th, despite the concerns of so many Senators (even co-sponsors of the bill) because it’s “too important to delay.” No. He’s wrong. What’s too important to delay is a real careful look at the impact of such a bill.

Update 2: More and more Senators appear to be distancing themselves from the bill. The latest is Senator Pat Toomey who makes it clear he does not like any bill that involves the government being able to order blocks of links to certain websites — something he calls “pretty disturbing.”

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Comments on “PIPA's Own Sponsors Backing Off Bill; Ask Senate To Hold Off On Voting [Updated!]”

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Beta (profile) says:

the long game

I don’t claim to be an expert in congressional politics, but…

Is it possible that they just want to postpone the vote until after the election, so that they can vote for it with impunity?

The correct countermove is to modify our message: we don’t just want the bill not passed, we want it defeated before the election. We should make postponement beyond the election just as toxic as the bill itself, and no neutrality allowed.

gorehound (profile) says:

Creating an Event in Portland, Maine this post aginst PIPA

This is not meant to be Spam just want to put one post on a PIPA Story and one Post on a SOPA Story.Hope I did not do anything wrong.
I am Jordan the Vocalist for Big Meat Hammer and one of Maine’s oldest Punk Rockers.I will post this here and on the new thread on PIPA Sponsors above this News Story.Since I am against both PIPA & SOPA I will do this same Post on two different Stories.I will not take up any more of techdirt’s time on my grand plan.
I have a mission !!! I am wondering who might want to take part in a Protest against Censorship in Portland.I am thinking of an event maybe called “Burn You Big Content Day”.Each person would at least bring one book,CD, or Movie put out by either MPAA,RIAA, or one of the Big Publishing Companies.We would have our Protest Signs and at one point we will all bring our “Content” to throw into a pile.We would then either take an AXE to it or BURN IT.I would bring out my expensive Camera gear to shoot a Video of this Event and we could upload that Video to the Internet.If you live here in Maine and would be willing to Donate a short period of your time for this then reply here.If enough will sign on then I should set a Date well before Jan.24TH as that is the day I am pretty sure they will be Voting on.It should be done in the next maybe 5 days ? So how many of you will sign on ? Today is Jan.13TH and you can either email me or go on my Facebook to sign up.If enough people sign up then we are going thru with this.

Anonymous Coward says:

I have my doubts that a number of politicians are responding to the general hate of the bills these last couple days, but instead are responding to Comcast implementing DNSSEC this week. Most of the change of heart isn’t the private right of action, but related to DNSSEC. It’s one thing to argue that it will destroy the tech industry and censor the internet to these people, it’s another to see that a major lobbiest is giving up a revenue stream because it’s impossible to implement while keeping DNSSEC, meaning that if they can’t make money off of it, it’s actually true they can’t block with it either.

Edward Teach says:

Re: Where be thy proof, swabbie?

Arr, ye freshwater swab, where be they proof? Totally unsupported assertions prove nothing by thy very self, mate!

Besides that, why wouldn’t an outpouring of anti-SOPA sentiment have anything to do with abrupt about-facing? Do you really think that bills like this just get a free pass because someone lobbies hard for them? If so, it just goes to show us your Royalist Colors.

robin (profile) says:

Re: leahy

As a fellow Vermonter, that’s a lllooooonnggggg wait, about 5 more years.

IMHO, more useful to call his offices, both in Burlington and DC, to present your message that removing DNS blocking does not mollify your (our) opposition to this legislation (1st amendment concerns, 4th amendment concerns, private right of action concerns, etc).

In fact, Burlington was a great call, really friendly and asked specific questions in response to my message for Senator Leahy. He’s on edge about this thing now, after all how many Hollywood studios are based here in VT, and another call is worth it’s weight in gold! Go.

tsavory (profile) says:

It is a step

It is a step in the right direction I would have to agree with AC saying a lot of it is about Comcast implementing DNSSEC but I do feel that we as a community also gave them a lot to think about. I Think that we still need to keep after them the DNS implications are just a part of what is wrong with the bills. As Polis and Issa had said during the hearings if you feel that a court hearing before cutting off revenue is implicated whats their problem with making sure the language is in there so no confusion about it later.
Both Bills need to be removed. Both the House and the Senate need to focus on counterfeiting in a bill with narrow and precise language.
But then again that would make ICE do their jobs and stop bad goods at customs instead of sitting behind a desk surfing the net trying to find the next 84,000 sites they can destroy trying to mess with things they don’t know.

They then want to mess with infringment issues find but it needs to be done with no room for confusion and must done with proper DUE PROCESS in place.
As long as there is any provisions that allow Legal sites (aka rapidshare and others) to be taken down because some or even most may/can/will miss use it will never be ok for me.

Violated (profile) says:


We should keep in mind that Protect IP (PIPA) is a rewrite of the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) which failed to pass in 2010.

So no matter what happens with PIPA and SOPA they will simply be back within 12 months with another rewrite. They will run with the ball now when a delay only makes things worse.

One day I would like to see a bill that would reform copyright but then we don’t have the money to buy one.

Anonymous Coward says:

Here’s a novel concept to get DC to listen and maybe get the mainstream news to pickup the story… It would be rather interesting to see the online opposition to take a page from (or even solicit the assistance from) the Occupy Movement and organize a “occupy” demonstration of their own at the Capital to coincide with Congress reconvening.

Anonymous Coward says:

What is really clear is that Pat Toomey has no idea WTF he is talking about. That interview asks him about PIPA and he goes off about his own bill regarding how companies need to protect user data. Seriously?? That guy obviously doesn’t even know what PROTECT IP is about! But if he and his ignorance are against it, I guess that is good enough for now but that is extremely worrisome. This guy doesn’t belong anywhere near technology bills.

kitsune361 (profile) says:

Ya know...

Harry Reid is either really terrible at his job as Senate Majority Leader, or secretly really good at looking incompetent while being a sly leader. HAHAHAHA who am I kidding?

However, pushing for a cloture vote in the harsh light of all this “negative press” may be just what we need to kill PIPA. They need 61 votes for cloture, then it’s a cooling period for a few days then a straight up or down vote. Then it goes to the house, or gets reconciled with SOPA… if they manage to pass that turd. Then it goes to the President, who, while not issuing a veto threat, has said that the DNS blocking provisions are crap.

It could likely fail to get cloture. Even if the cloture vote succeeds, the bill could fail to pass. I say go for it. Better to force the up or down vote now, before an election, while the nerd rage is fresh and furious, rather than waiting for the distraction of the November election or the lame duck session afterwards.

Maybe I’m too optimistic about this crap and have too much faith in Reid not really being an idiot and instead sly like a fox. Even if he is, it’s still just all procedural BS and political gamesmanship in the Senate.

CJ (profile) says:

Did you know?

I wont post names, but it should not be very hard for you to figure out who are the major players in the News media online.

They have had a busy week moderating members, deleting accounts, and avoiding the SOPA like it was something communicable.

I would not give any high fives just yet on this Bill not passing. Congress has a bad habit of passing laws behind the public’s back when they least expect it. Be diligent everyone.

CJ (profile) says:

A new Bill too replace SOPA

A bipartisan group of House members has begun drafting the Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade Act (OPEN), a compromise bill.

The OPEN Act secures two fundamental principles. First, Americans have a right to benefit from what they’ve created. And second, Americans have a right to an open internet. Our duty is to protect these rights. That’s why congressional Republicans and Democrats came together to write the OPEN Act. But it’s only a start. We need your help: sign up, comment and collaborate to build a better bill.


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