Senate Majority leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., is delaying Tuesday’s scheduled Senate vote on the controversial Protect IP Act.
The move, as well as a similar delay on a vote of a companion bill before the House of Representatives, appears to be the clearest indication yet that Wednesday’s Wikipedia blackout and Web protest swayed lawmakers. On Thursday, several lawmakers dropped their support of the controversial measure and all four Republican presidential candidates took stands against it.
In a series of tweets Friday morning, Reid said “in light of recent events” he would postpone the vote. The decision did not, however, appear to change Reid’s overall support for anti-piracy legislation.
“There’s no reason that legitimate issues raised about PROTECT IP can’t be resolved. Counterfeiting & piracy cost 1000s of #jobs yearly#pipa,” he tweeted.
Meanwhile, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas, also said he would “indefinitely” delay a vote on the Stop Online Piracy Act pending before the house.
“I have heard from the critics and I take seriously their concerns regarding proposed legislation to address the problem of online piracy,” Smith said in a statement Friday. “It is clear that we need to revisit the approach on how best to address the problem of foreign thieves that steal and sell American inventions and products.”
But not all lawmakers are happy with the delay.
“More time will pass with jobs lost and economies hurt by foreign criminals who are stealing American intellectual property, and selling it back to American consumers,” SOPA sponsor Rep. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said in a statement. “The day will come when the Senators who forced this move will look back and realize they made a knee-jerk reaction to a monumental problem.”