Senator Harry Reid has announced he will postpone the Senate vote on the PROTECT I.P. Act (PIPA), originally scheduled for Tuesday. Following the shutdown of thousands of websites earlier this week, Congressional support for the bi-partisan legislation has declined.
Google has collected more than 7 million signatures in an online petition to stop PIPA and its corresponding House bill, SOPA. Reid, however, is still hopeful that the bill can be revised to the satisfaction of critics. In a statement released earlier today, he said, “There is no reason that the legitimate issues raised by many about this bill cannot be resolved. Counterfeiting and piracy cost the American economy billions of dollars and thousands of jobs each year, with the movie industry alone supporting over 2.2 million jobs.” He also commended the work of Senator Patrick Leahy who introduced the bill, and said that he was “optimistic that we can reach a compromise in the coming weeks.”
The bill, drafted by members of both parties, is becoming an increasingly partisan issue after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell urged Reid and Leahy to shelve the legislation. The website blackouts from earlier in the week has increased awareness and discussion of the bills, even prompting coverage from the Daily Show’s Jon Stewart who attempted to look up SOPA (unsuccessfully) on Wikipedia. A video montage of members of Congress claiming that they are not “nerds” further highlighted Congress’ lack of understanding of what the legislation entails.
Do you think that Reid’s optimism for resolving the “legitimate issues” of the bill is warranted? Or will the outcries from Internet giants and citizens undermine his hopes for compromise?