While the battle over SOPA rages in the House (to resume with another markup hearing on Wednesday), the Senate's version of the bill, Protect IP, will not have an easy path to passage either. Today Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) renewed his vow to block the bill "to the bitter end." Because the rules are different in the Senate Wyden has a whole toolbox of tactics he could employ to keep the bill from ever coming to a vote.
Taking to the Senate floor, Wyden reiterated what he has been saying for quite awhile – that he will "follow through on a commitment I made more than a year ago to filibuster this bill when the Senate returns in January." Wyden emphasized that the bill is raising concerns among Internet engineers, tech companies, and free speech advocacy groups.
On Saturday Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said that the Senate would hold a key procedural vote on the bill not long after Congress returns from its holiday break. That vote will take place on Jan. 24 – a motion to proceed. The move was praised by the bill’s author, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who said Congress can "ill afford to save the debate on how to counter online infringement for another day."
The urgency of the matter is questionable given that lawmakers have done very little to actually consult experts on the cause and effect of the bills in questions.
As Wyden points out, Protect IP "could deal an enormous body blow to a vital job engine for our economy." He also raised alarms about SOPA.