House Judiciary Committee Adjourns Without a Vote on SOPA

Updated

The House Judiciary Committee has adjourned without getting a vote on the Stop Online Piracy Act.

Although Judiciary Committee chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) had expressed his desire to get the bill through the committee before Congress recesses for the year, time ran out as he called a halt to the debate so members could get to the House floor for a vote on a $1 trillion spending measure that will avert a government shutdown. A new date for the continuation of the markup has not been set, although it is not certain that that will be sometime next year. The House could still be in session next week.

Smith said in a statement, “The Committee consistently rejected proposals that would have made it harder to protect American jobs and American innovators.
 
“The criticism of this bill is completely hypothetical; none of it is based in reality. Not one of the critics was able to point to any language in the bill that would in any way harm the Internet.  Their accusations are simply not supported by any facts.”

Update: Michael O’Leary, senior executive vice president for global affairs at the MPAA, said, “The Judiciary Committee’s overwhelming support for the bill shows that the legislative process, when allowed to work, can result in strong, bi-partisan legislation that will protect millions of American jobs and creativity.”

The NetCoalition, the org of Internet firms that have lined up against the legislation, indicated that Smith is considering additional hearings, including on the issue of the impact that the bill would have on Internet security. Markham Erickson, the executive director of the coalition, said that such a hearing would allow members of the committee to be “fully briefed on the potentially serious and negaitve consequences that the proposed legislation would create.”

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