The Senate just decided to slam-dunk the Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)-Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) compromise bill moving the DTV transition deadline from 2/17/09 to 6/12/09 by unanimous consent. That means that no Republican senators are willing to put a hold on the bill, and thus earn the blame for everything that might have gone wrong on 2/17/09. Even though Minnesota is still trying to figure out who its junior senator is, it is doubtful the outcome of that court-bound election would’ve changed the outcome of this vote regardless of the identity of the eventual winner.
“Delaying the upcoming DTV switch is the right thing to do,” said Rockefeller. “I firmly believe that our nation is not yet ready to make this transition at this time. The Senate acted responsibly to give the Obama Administration time to attempt to bring order to a mismanaged process. I want to thank Senator Hutchison for her leadership in this effort. I urge our colleagues in the House to pass this bill and I know Chairman Waxman is working on it.”
RBR/TVBR observation: The House Energy and Commerce Committee takes up the issue today. 6/12/09 is a mortal lock to pass – unlike in the Senate, House Republicans who may be of a mind to resist the change will be powerless to stop it. And a major delay to the DTV transition was specifically requested by the Obama administration. So, ladies and gentlemen, the delay is going to happen. Adjust your plans accordingly.