Waxman, Boucher play the waiting game


Looking to drum up support for a DTV delay, key Dems Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Rick Boucher (D-VA) have told each and every member of the House exactly how many of their constituents are now languishing on the converter box coupon waiting list. They note that 1.8M households with requests for 3.3M coupons exist, and that on average, 5.7% of the public each MOC represents are totally unready for the conversion.

The ink had barely dried on the Waxman/Boucher letter when fresh stats came out of the Commerce department, taking the total number of households on the list over the 2M mark, and the total number of coupons requested to 3.6M.

NAB made the latest stats available – some 21.7M coupons have been redeemed, 10.96M are pending, and 14.35KM have expired.

Waxman is Chair of the key Energy and Commerce Committee, and Boucher is chair of the newly-renamed Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet.

Joe Barton (R-TX), Ranking Member of E&C, has been leading the charge to keep the February deadline date. Interestingly, the 6.5K waiting list constituents in his district puts him on the high end of the scale. Although there are many exceptions, most fall within a range from 3K-7K households.

RBR/TVBR observation: This should hit the House floor today. The only question is whether any Republicans will go ahead and sign off on it. With a simple majority required for passage, Democrats will muscle through with or without them.