The website blackout going on 1/18/12 appears to be getting the attention of lawmakers in Washington. Members of both houses of Congress, including more than a few Republicans, are pulling support for SOPA and PIPA with varying degrees of fanfare.
Nonetheless, according to reports, the main House backer of SOPA, Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) is preparing to hold more hearings in February.
Backers of the legislation insist it’s aimed at piracy, and will not lead to censorship of the internet. They further insist that websites like Wikipedia and other will not be in any danger of being shut down.
Opponents continue to insist that the language in the bill is so clumsy that they will in fact be in danger of being shut down, or at the very least may be forced to spend significant amounts of money to defend against a shut down. Smaller sites expect they will be forced to accept a possible shut down order due to lack of means to protest.
Marco Rubio (R-FL), Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Jon Cornyn (R-TX) are among those who have withdrawn support for PIPA.
On the House side, Ben Quayle (R-AZ) and Lee Terry (R-NE) have gone farther than just withdrawing support for SOPA – they have removed their names from the co-sponsor list, according to TPMIdeaLab.
The White House had indicated problems with the bills, but the current trend would indicate that a bill will not even get that far without a great deal more work.