SOPA Delayed; Cantor Promises It Won't Be Brought To The Floor Until 'Issues Are Addressed'
from the holding-fire dept
Some late breaking news here: following Lamar Smith’s announcement that the new manager’s amendment for SOPA will remove DNS blocking (to be added back at a later date after it’s been “studied”), Rep. Issa has announced that he will now postpone the “nerd” hearing that he was holding in the House Oversight Committee, which was originally scheduled for Wednesday. The key reason? Majority Leader Eric Cantor has promised him that he will not bring the bill to the floor unless there’s real consensus on the bill. That’s big news — though, as Issa notes in his statement, it’s worrisome that Senator Reid still seems to want to move forward with PIPA:
“While I remain concerned about Senate action on the Protect IP Act, I am confident that flawed legislation will not be taken up by this House. Majority Leader Cantor has assured me that we will continue to work to address outstanding concerns and work to build consensus prior to any anti-piracy legislation coming before the House for a vote,” said Chairman Issa. “The voice of the Internet community has been heard. Much more education for Members of Congress about the workings of the Internet is essential if anti-piracy legislation is to be workable and achieve broad appeal.”
“Earlier tonight, Chairman Smith announced that he will remove the DNS blocking provision from his legislation. Although SOPA, despite the removal of this provision, is still a fundamentally flawed bill, I have decided that postponing the scheduled hearing on DNS blocking with technical experts is the best course of action at this time. Right now, the focus of protecting the Internet needs to be on the Senate where Majority Leader Reid has announced his intention to try to move similar legislation in less than two weeks.”
Indeed. It is still important that Congress hears from “the nerds” and plenty of other experts concerning the implications of these attempts to regulate the internet, but if SOPA is not going to be rushed to the floor, such hearings and education can (and should) happen in due time, rather than rushing to get them in, just as Congress comes back into session. There are more important things for Congress to focus on.