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Breaking News: House refuses to fast track DTV Delay Act


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#26 OFFLINE   jpeckinp

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 12:50 PM

Wait one minute here.
This reminds me of a story that gets passed around in High School.
How did it go from 3 million homes to 6.5 million homes to the Reuters report saying 20 Million homes?:confused:
Next week it will be 100% of homes are not ready.

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#27 OFFLINE   msmith198025

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 12:55 PM

Glad to see that this is more than likely dead

#28 OFFLINE   jpl

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 12:59 PM

I'm really confused by this. From what I understand the vote was about suspending rules for debate. Meaning that there was a vote of the order of: 'forget about the normal rules for debating this issue - let's vote to suspend those rules and just go right to a vote of the bill.' That's generally what that stuff means. It sounds like the vote to suspend the rules for debate are what failed, which means that the normal rules for debate of the bill are in place. But that one article in the Washington Post that was linked here (forget who posted that) is pretty clear - the bill died. Seems really odd that you would have the bill die like that when it was unanimus in the Senate. Especially since in the House the majority really does rule - not so much in the Senate where procedural rules can stop a vote (e.g. a filibuster). In the House, the agenda really is set by the majority - and if the democrats WANTED this bill to pass, there's nothing that the republicans could have done to stop it.

#29 OFFLINE   ziggy29

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 01:07 PM

I'm really confused by this. From what I understand the vote was about suspending rules for debate. Meaning that there was a vote of the order of: 'forget about the normal rules for debating this issue - let's vote to suspend those rules and just go right to a vote of the bill.' That's generally what that stuff means. It sounds like the vote to suspend the rules for debate are what failed, which means that the normal rules for debate of the bill are in place. But that one article in the Washington Post that was linked here (forget who posted that) is pretty clear - the bill died.

My understanding is that this vote was necessary to "fast track" the legislation and bypass the usual lawmaking process. Unlike the legislation itself which can be passed with a simple majority of both houses, to suspend the normal rules require a 2/3 supermajority.

So in reality what that means -- I think -- is that this bill would now be required to go through all the usual processes, committees and the like before making it to the president's desk for a signature. But that process would take long enough that it would be after 2/17 anyway -- meaning it's dead.

Now maybe this will have more lives than a cat and maybe they'll try again with a few bones thrown to Republicans to try to get that supermajority, but I really don't know.

#30 OFFLINE   Pete K.

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 01:07 PM

In a nutshell, House Democrats were attempting to "fast track" the bill, with limited debate. Republicans scuttled the "fast track." The bill is not dead.
The House can still bring the bill up for a vote next week with lengthier debate, the addition of amendments, and a majority rules vote. The problem with that? The clock is ticking.

#31 OFFLINE   Sirshagg

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 01:07 PM

From what I've been reading a bill normally goes through a committee which will debate and possibly ammend the bill. The rules suspension means that the bill did not go through this process and went straight to the floor for a vote. Handling the bill like this requires a 2/3 vote to pass which it did not get.
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#32 OFFLINE   hdtvfan0001

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 01:09 PM

So they delayed voting on the delay?

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#33 OFFLINE   n3ntj

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 01:10 PM

Thank God the House voted against this bill! Let's turn off analog TV on 2/17 (as has been planned on for a long time) and move on. Of course, low power stations are not affected by the shutdown.

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#34 OFFLINE   Tom Robertson

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 01:11 PM

The House Rules state that a suspension of rules to pass a bill are bound by many things, a couple of important ones (that I've found so far):
1) can only be introduced on Mondays or Tuesdays (possibly Wednesdays?) and the last 6 legislative days (not an issue, just mentioning it)
2) does not pass/fail the bill itself.
3) If failing, the Speaker may re-introduce the suspension motion again on a later date.
4) The Chairperson of the appropriate committee often can make the request without any consultation with the committee. So the committee may not have heard the bill or approved of it.

So I'm trying to track down what happens to this bill now. :)

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#35 OFFLINE   roadrunner1782

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 01:15 PM

I think most stations will still change on the 17th. I actually had an e-mail from Time Warner this morning telling me my Roadrunner bill was available on their website and at the bottom of the e-mail it said in somewhat bold letters that the transition was still in affect for the 17th!

#36 OFFLINE   Fontano

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 01:18 PM

Thank God the House voted against this bill! Let's turn off analog TV on 2/17 (as has been planned on for a long time) and move on. Of course, low power stations are not affected by the shutdown.


Someone correct me if I am wrong.

Did they infact vote AGAINST the bill.

Or the procedural motions, where voted down.
Which were necessary to even bring up the vote on the bill?

I have not read it indepth yet, but to me it looks more like:
They voted against the motion to have a vote on the bill, not the bill itself.

#37 OFFLINE   Fontano

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 01:19 PM

Does anyone know if any riders were added to the bill? That led to the prodominant party line vote?

#38 OFFLINE   fluffybear

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 01:20 PM

But, but ... Isn't the delay being proposed because over 6 million folks want to buy a converter box but can't (for whatever reason)? That hardly sounds like people affected are not in the know. :confused:


No, it just means 6 million are not ready! They could be in possession of a voucher and chosen not to redeem it, they could be on a waiting for their voucher, they could be misinformed and think they are not ready for the digital transition when in fact they are, or they plan to wait until the very last second.

According to the last numbers I saw, there were less the waiting list was less then 1 million vouchers (keeping in mind that some may be requesting multiple vouchers)

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#39 OFFLINE   ziggy29

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 01:20 PM

Someone correct me if I am wrong.

Did they infact vote AGAINST the bill.

Or the procedural motions, where voted down.
Which were necessary to even bring up the vote on the bill?

I have not read it indepth yet, but to me it looks more like:
They voted against the motion to have a vote on the bill, not the bill itself

They voted against suspending the usual rules to allow the bill to come to a vote without following the standard procedures. They did not vote against the bill itself.

The bill itself would only need a simple majority. The vote to suspend the rules required a 2/3 supermajority which it failed to muster.

#40 OFFLINE   Sirshagg

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 01:22 PM

SO this may still happen :(
Who is this "Vod Kanockers" that you speak of?

#41 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 01:23 PM

Seems really odd that you would have the bill die like that when it was unanimus in the Senate.

It passed the senate with UNANIMOUS CONSENT ... it was not a unanimous vote. Basically "without objection".

In the House, the agenda really is set by the majority - and if the democrats WANTED this bill to pass, there's nothing that the republicans could have done to stop it.

They can slow it down and stop it from being railroaded through by the majority.

#42 OFFLINE   xIsamuTM

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 01:26 PM

It's like the opening of Hitchhikers only with TV.

"I'm sorry, but if you can't be bothered to take an interest in local affairs that's your own lookout. "
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#43 OFFLINE   Tom Robertson

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 01:26 PM

The House does not have a party line supermajority necessary to pass this instantly. So now this bill goes thru the regular process and calendar. (Or dies from lack of timeliness.)

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#44 OFFLINE   GravelChan

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 01:29 PM

[quote name='Steve615
WSMV (NBC) is also full-time HD in Nashville currently.
Sinclair Broadcasting Group had announced last year that WZTV (FOX) would be going full-time HD,but that has not happened yet.
AFAIK,WNPT (PBS) is good to go for full-time HD,but they claim to be waiting on TV service providers (satellite & cable) so alot more folks can view the HD channel without an OTA antenna.

WKRN (ABC) is owned & operated by the Young Broadcast Corp.
They have been keeping a low profile in regards to going full-time HD.[/QUOTE']

KELO (CBS) Sioux Falls, SD.... also a Young Broadcasting station announced this morning that they will be switching on the 17'th regardless whether the bill passes or not.

#45 OFFLINE   minorthr

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 01:36 PM

And those people that claim to not have been informed probably were not informed. The reason being because they probably rarely watch TV anyways.


Again sucks to be them. They will figure it out when they turn their TVs on and they don't work. They have had plenty of time to simply stumble on to the info. Its not like last Tuesday we just suddenly decided that Feb 17th we are shutting the analog signals off.
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#46 OFFLINE   BaldEagle

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 01:38 PM

SO this may still happen :(


Not may happen, it will happen. Passed in the Senate, new vote to be taken in the house that only requires a simple majority to pass. The votes were not there the first time around for 2/3rd but will easily pass when only a majority is needed.

#47 OFFLINE   cb7214

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 01:39 PM

And those people that claim to not have been informed probably were not informed. The reason being because they probably rarely watch TV anyways.


and if that was the case don't forget about the newspapers radio billboards etc that also had info on the transition
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#48 OFFLINE   Tom Robertson

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 01:41 PM

Not may happen, it will happen. Passed in the Senate, new vote to be taken in the house that only requires a simple majority to pass. The votes were not there the first time around for 2/3rd but will easily pass when only a majority is needed.


If it can be scheduled for a vote in time. That is the part that is unclear to me right now.

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#49 OFFLINE   jefbal99

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 01:42 PM

KELO (CBS) Sioux Falls, SD.... also a Young Broadcasting station announced this morning that they will be switching on the 17'th regardless whether the bill passes or not.


I spoke with a station engineer at WLNS in Lansing, a Young Broadcasting station, they can't move until WJRT in Flint moves as they are using the channel currently.

I hope that the move is not delayed, not the fault of the overwhelming majority that the minority didn't get their ducks in a row.
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#50 OFFLINE   jpl

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 01:44 PM

It passed the senate with UNANIMOUS CONSENT ... it was not a unanimous vote. Basically "without objection".

They can slow it down and stop it from being railroaded through by the majority.


Was it by unanimous concent? Everywhere I've read about it the bill passed unanimously - I took that to mean by unanimous vote, but I could be wrong. As for your second point, no that's not true. They can't slow it down. In the House the majority really does rule. They set the agenda on what get's debated and voted on. I don't want to migrate to the political here, because I know that's not allowed on this forum, however, since we're discussing procedural issues with regard to legislation I think it's valid to talk about this. Look at what happened late summer - as Congress was going into summer recess the GOP kept pushing for their position on drilling off-shore. They wanted to lift the Congressional ban on it. The democrats absoultely refused to even hold a debate on the bill. As a result, no debate happened. The bill was never introduced. It was never discussed (at least not while Congress was in session), and it certainly never came up for a vote. The GOP couldn't even prevent the House from being called to recess, although they tried. The rules simply didn't allow for it - the majority wanted to adjourn, so they did.

About the best that the minority can do is to do just what they did here - prevent votes on bills that require suspension of normal rules of debate. The only exception to this happens IF the majority GIVES the minority specific authority to act. For example, the majority could give the minority, through the adoption of the rules, the ability to bring up points of order... or offer up bills outside of the approval of the majority. But (again, I'm NOT trying to get political on this - just explaining my understanding of the procedures) one of the first things that Speaker Pelosi did was to take away any such authorization, when she took power in January of 2007. Prior to that the minority DID have some authority granted to it by the majority. When the majority flipped, those authorizations were taken away.

BTW, thanks to all the replies on the clarification. That makes alot of sense - the fact that the clock is ticking on this (I lost sight of just how close the scheduled transition was) would prevent a normal bill from going through. The Wash Post article then is wrong - they didn't vote down the bill. THAT'S where my confusion came from.

Edited by jpl, 28 January 2009 - 01:53 PM.





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