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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  1. icon
    kitsune361 (profile), 14 Jan 2012 @ 3:23pm

    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.

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