Defense Appropriations Bill May Extend Satellite License Deadline

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Still engaging over health care legislation, it looks like Congress will be putting off wrangling with the bill reauthorizing the satellite distant signal license until early next year.

At least that is according to a copy of the Department of Defense appropriations bill (H.R. 3326).

According to the bill's language, hammered out by the House and Senate Tuesday, the Satellite Home Viewer Extension and Reauthorization Act will need to add another E for extension.

The DOD bill extends the deadline for sunset of that license from Dec. 31 to Feb. 28, giving Congress 60 more days to work on it.

The bill's provision allowing Dish network back into the distant network signal business drew criticism in the Senate and, according to sources, prompted Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) to put a hold on it. Sessions' office had not returned a call at press time.

The DOD bill includes a 60-day extensions on a number of expiring programs, according to the Rules Committee, including the Patriot Act and COBRA benefits

The DOD bill is expected to be voted on today (Dec. 16).