Senate Minority Leader McConnell Tells Reid/Leahy To Kill PIPA

from the ouch dept

Looks like the next domino in the SOPA/PIPA fight just fell. Tony Romm is reporting that Senate minority leader, Senator Mitch McConnell is calling on Democrats to drop PIPA. That has a high likelihood of killing off what little Republican support is left for PIPA, because where McConnell goes, so go most Republican Senate votes. As we predicted this morning, it’s looking like this is becoming a partisan issue — with the Republicans lined up with internet users… and Democrats lined up with a couple of big Hollywood studios who don’t want to innovate. The real shame in that, of course, is that for many, many months, the only person keeping PIPA from moving forward was Senator Ron Wyden — a Democrat… and it appears his entire party has totally abandoned him. I’m still worried this now becomes a partisan issue, but it’s still pretty stunning that Democratic leadership appears to have made a really, really bad calculation on the politics of this bill.

Update: Here’s McConnell’s official statement:

“While we must combat the on-line theft of intellectual property, current proposals in Congress raise serious legal, policy and operational concerns. Rather than prematurely bringing the Protect IP Act to the Senate floor, we should first study and resolve the serious issues with this legislation. Considering this bill without first doing so could be counterproductive to achieving the shared goal of enacting appropriate and additional tools to combat the theft of intellectual property. I encourage the Senate Majority to reconsider its decision to proceed to this bill.”

Reading between the standard DC political lines… McConnell is making this partisan.

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Comments on “Senate Minority Leader McConnell Tells Reid/Leahy To Kill PIPA”

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29 Comments
TtfnJohn (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

I suspect the Republicans, leaders of SOPA in the House, are reading the tea leaves and finding that these bills have become toxic for elections this year.

If that’s where this is going then there is ONE thing that will over rule almost a hundred million in donations to politicians and that’s an upset electorate who don’t like what the donations are buying.

Anonymous Coward says:

Anyone who thinks that this means that Republicans get this issue should take strong notice of “achieving the shared goal of enacting appropriate and additional tools to combat the theft of intellectual property.”

We have college students being extradited from Britain, Megaupload seized and other sites blocked on current legislation alone but somehow for some people there is a shared goal of enacting additional tools to combat theft of intellectual property.

Any politician who got this issue would be talking about reviewing copyright legislation from the ground up, anything else just means, we’ll have to go at this legislation again when people aren’t paying attention.

Anonymous Coward says:

Reading between the standard DC political lines… McConnell is making this partisan.

No kidding. The R’s saw what the net roots did for the D’s in the last election. Neutralize, the net root effect, retake the Senate and the White House and run the show for the next 4-8 years. So billionaires will continue to pay a lower percentage tax rate than their secretaries and you get to delay implementation of SOPA until after the election. Did you forget that SOPA is the US CoC’s #1 issue. The CoC is the lobbying arm of the Republican party. What do you think will happen the day after President Gingrich takes office?

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re:

No kidding. The R’s saw what the net roots did for the D’s in the last election. Neutralize, the net root effect, retake the Senate and the White House and run the show for the next 4-8 years. So billionaires will continue to pay a lower percentage tax rate than their secretaries and you get to delay implementation of SOPA until after the election. Did you forget that SOPA is the US CoC’s #1 issue. The CoC is the lobbying arm of the Republican party. What do you think will happen the day after President Gingrich takes office?

Indeed. No doubt that the Rs and Ds are equally bad and equally untrustworthy.

However… even if it’s the #1 issue for CoC, what happened this week suggests that perhaps the public won’t let it happen.

Oh, I know that you and your friends will fight for this, but you’ve been on this site for nearly a year underestimating the people on the internet. One of these days you’ll learn. I mean, I recognize that you’re paid not to… but… it might help keep your bosses happy if you explain reality to them.

robin (profile) says:

Maybe Celebrate, But Keep On Keepin' On

Things are certainly moving fast:

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0112/71672.html

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid won’t whip Democratic votes for an online anti-piracy bill, according to sources familiar with his plans.

i.e. call your Sens tomorrow, Monday and Tuesday to re-enforce that they need to listen to their constituents FIRST.

And beware the weasel words:

http://www.publicknowledge.org/blog/fake-promises-vote-no-sopa-and-pipa

?I hear your concerns and will ensure that critical changes are made.?

?I will not vote for PIPA in its current form.?

?I will work to make important changes.?

?I will vote against the bill as currently written.?

AdamBv1 (profile) says:

Re: Re:

How about going a step further than that even, we should prove that laws will actually have the intended effect via studies (one thing the GAO, CRS and the like are for and good at). Once we prove that a law will or at least has a good chance of working as intended then we can go to vote on it.

Also, far more laws need sunset clauses and via the same agencies we should prove that they have been working with no unintended consequences. If all is good then we can vote to renew, if not then it is trashed.

Chilly8 says:

Based on one estimate I read, with 38 Senators likely against PIPA, the cloture vote would pass, if taken today, 62 to 38.

However, it also means that PIPA would would likely not survive a presidential Veto, as they would need at least 67 votes to override a veto.

While PIPA will likely pass the Senate, it will not survive a poresidential Veto. That 62 to 38 was before McConnell chimed in against it. So PIPA will likely pass cloture, with a 61 to 39 margin, 6 votes short of what would be needed to survive a presidential veto.

PopeRatzo (profile) says:

abandon ship!

It’s funny that these politicians are suddenly in a race to see who can run away from SOPA the fastest.

It’s proof that when you get organized and get loud you can change things.

I have noticed however, that there is a nascent effort on Fox News to try to paint opponents of SOPA and PIPA as being mostly dirty hippies like the Occupy Movement.

They’re trying to spin it like “Oh the bill was no good because it was big government, but we have to find a way to do everything the bill does but not until a Republican takes over so we can get all the Hollywood contributions.”

The Luke Witnesser says:

Here lies the truth about SOPA/PIPA that even TechDirt has yet to report: what MPAA, RIAA, and Hollywood execs do not want you to see.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJIuYgIvKsc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzS5rSvZXe8

The truth behind why these big companies responsible for SOPA and PIPA are also responsible for piracy itself is far more insidious than even their outmoded business model.

Hint: can you say, do as I say so I can crush you under heel?

LC (profile) says:

Wyden...

If things continue to do they way they have been for the Democrats (supporting this legislation at the people’s expense) then it may be wise for Wyden to abandon the sinking ship that is The Democrats and go to his re-election as an independent. If he continues to support them, they could drag his reputation down with theirs.

To his constituents, I beg them to vote for him even if he remains a Democrat. He was an opponent of PIPA from very early on and if it wasn’t for his efforts in opposing it, SOPA/PIPA would be law by now, or at least, there would never have been enough time to build up such huge amounts of opposition to them. If that doesn’t count for something, what does?

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