The Senate Judiciary Committee version of the satellite reauthorization bill -- the one with generally bipartisan support Senate Republicans said last week -- has resurfaced as part of a just-introduced jobs bill, according to a Judiciary committee staffer.
Sens. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Max Baucus (D-Mont.) introduced the legislation Monday afternoon on the floor after a bill that would have simply extended the satellite license, as well as health and unemployment insurance payments for another few weeks (until March 28 for the satellite bill), continued to be blocked by a single Senator (Jim Bunning [R-Ky.) according to multiple sources, over issues unrelated to satellite.
Although the license that allows satellite operators to deliver distant affiliate TV station signals expired Feb. 28, those signals are still being delivered.
That is because the leadership of the Judiciary committees promised DirecTV, National Programming Service (which deliver the signals) and the relevant stakeholders (broadcasters, sports leagues and others who receive payments) that when a bill does pass, it will retroactively make the interim delivery legal.