STELAR Hotlined In Senate

Move Would Speed Passage of Must-Pass Bill
Publish date:

The just-passed Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act Reathorization (STELAR) Act, the House reauthorization of the satellite compulsory license, has been hotlined in the Senate.

That is according to an e-mail from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

That is an off-the-floor way to achieve swift passage in that body by seeking unanimous consent, essentially asking anybody who has objections to register them, and if none are registered, the bill ipasses. One "nay" vote and the fast-track move fails.

The House-passed bill had bicameral and bipartisan support, and the last potential sticking point appeared to be removed after Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), said he would not block the bill (as he had a Senate version) over the provision that eliminates the integrated cable set-top ban. Markey opposed that provision, but said he supported others in the bill and would not stand in the way.

If the hotlining succeeds, it will mean far less drama this time around than in 2009, the last time the compulsory license was due to expire unless renewed, when a bill was not passed by the Dec. 31 due date.