Two Million Satellite TV Subscribers Could Lose Access to Broadcast TV

Two Million Satellite TV Subscribers Could Lose Access to Broadcast TV

The Senate’s failure to pass the temporary extension to satellite TV legislation (H.R. 4691) last week could mean that 2 million satellite TV subscribers will lose access to broadcast network television programming according to Congress Daily (subscription required). It also has significant ramifications in other sectors of the economy.

Transportation Secretary LaHood said that 2,000 federal workers will have to be furloughed immediately because surface transportation programs were not extended, along with implications for Medicare payments to physicians, COBRA insurance benefits, etc. Senate Jim Bunning (R-TX) is refusing to agree to a unanimous request to pass the bill because it does not pay for itself.

On the satellite TV front, Congress Daily reported that the Democratic and Republican leaders of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees — which have jurisdiction over this aspect of the satellite TV legislation — sent a letter to DirecTV and other satellite TV providers asking them to continue providing service to those subscribers while Congress tries to solve the problem.

SkyReport, a daily newsletter about the commercial satellite business, bitterly asked “is there anyone, anywhere who has any respect left for the U.S. Congress?…This isn’t brain surgery. Or health care legislation. Or even a particularly tough crossword puzzle. This is basic, BASIC stuff and they can’t get it passed.”

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