Ensign Pulls Set-Top Amendment

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Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) Thursday pulled an amendment that would have slashed at least $2 billion from planned federal subsidies for millions of analog set-tops after analog television is terminated in early 2009.

On Wednesday, Ensign unveiled his plan to cut subsidies from $3 billion to $1 billion or less in an effort to shrink the federal deficit. Senate Commerce Committee chairman Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) opposed Ensign.

Ensign press spokesman Jack Finn said Thursday afternoon that Ensign withdrew his amendment after hearing “sentiment on the Senate floor” that the $2 billion in savings would have been used to fund other projects, not to reduce the deficit.

“This was unacceptable to him,” Finn added.

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