On the day of the Internet blackout to protest anti-piracy legislation, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) have withdrawn their support.
The withdrawal of Hatch from the legislation was the most significant blow, as he is the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and was one of its champions and co-sponsors when it was passed in the committee unanimously in May. Hatch wrote, “After listening to the concerns on both sides of the debate over the PROTECT IP Act, it is simply not ready for prime time.”
Rubio wrote in a Facebook post, “Earlier this year, this bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously and without controversy. Since then, we’ve heard legitimate concerns about the impact the bill could have on access to the Internet and about a potentially unreasonable expansion of the federal government’s power to impact the Internet. Congress should listen and avoid rushing through a bill that could have many unintended consequences.”
Blunt wrote on Twitter, “We can find a solution that will protect lawful content. But this bill is flawed & that’s why I’m withdrawing my support.”
Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) announced last week that he also was withdrawing his support.
Rubio and Blunt had been cosponsors of the legislation.
In the House, Bloomberg News reported that Rep. Ben Quayle (R-Arizona), Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) and Rep. Dennis Ross (R-Fla.) also were withdrawing their support.
Meanwhile, supporters are promoting an editorial in the Wall Street Journal in favor of the bills, while opponents touted a letter from such artists and content creators as Andy Samberg and Trent Reznor opposing the legislation.