SOPA Debate Delayed to February

SOPA Debate Delayed to February

by January 17, 2012

“Republican and Democratic retreats” Cited as Reason

This afternoon, a statement released by the US House Judiciary Committee indicated debate on the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act–or “markup,” as it’s referred to in the statement–would be delayed until next month.

“Due to the Republican and Democratic retreats taking place over the next two weeks, markup of the Stop Online Piracy Act is expected to resume in February,” said committee chair Rep. Lamar Smith, a Republican from Texas.  “I am committed to continuing to work with my colleagues in the House and Senate to send a bipartisan bill to the White House that saves American jobs and protects intellectual property.”

Because this is an election year for the US House, the delay opens up the possibility the bill may not see the light of day on the House floor this year, with politicans’ priorities turning toward re-election.  The same cannot totally be said of the US Senate, however, where just a third of the seats are up for re-election this November–and where debate on its SOPA equivalent, the Protect IP Act, remains scheduled for resumption next week.