Shield shelved again


The demands of the Senate Finance Committee once again deprived the Senate Judiciary Committee with enough members to do anything about the bill that would create a federal reporters shield.

The Senate Finance Committee is embroiled in the high stakes health reform arena, and has become a priority for its members. Unfortunately, there is a great deal of overlap between that committee and Judiciary, making it difficult for the latter to get a quorum.

The bill, known as the Freedom of Information Act is already scheduled again, for Thursday, 10/8/09, marking its fourth appearance on the agenda. It has bipartisan support and is also supported in the White House, and is expected to pass in some form, if Committee Chair Patrick Leahy (D-VT) can ever get enough committee members in the room at the same time to actually vote on it.

Meanwhile, the Senate Commerce Committee is going to tee up the Reauthorization of the Satellite Home Viewer Extension and Reauthorization Act next week. That’ll take place on Wednesday, 10/7/09. The bill, which passed through Judiciary last week, has been proceeding through committees (including Judiciary and Commerce in the House) swiftly and largely unamended since active license renewals hang in the balance.