Last updated: February 21, 2008 - 2:32am
HOUSE GOP LEADERS PUSH TELCO VOTE
[SOURCE: Technology Daily, AUTHOR: Drew Clark]
House Republican leaders are pressing forward with the Bell company-led effort to pass telecommunications legislation and have scheduled H.R. 5252 for a vote that likely will take place Friday, said leadership aides. House leadership wants to avoid requiring members to vote on the contentious issue of network neutrality, congressional and industry sources say. Bell companies have been tasked with generating sufficient support against a network neutrality amendment. The bill, which passed the House Energy and Commerce Committee 42-12 on April 26, would ease municipal video franchising rules that have limited the Bell companies' ability to offer nationwide video services. Opposition to the franchising aspect comes from the cable industry and municipalities. H.R. 5252 is the final one scheduled for the week, and comes after a day of uncontroversial items on Tuesday, and two appropriations bills on Wednesday and Thursday. If Bell advocates of the telecom measure are not able to generate support against a neutrality amendment, the measure could slip to next week, said industry sources. But an aide to House Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, said leaders were going to proceed with an unusual vote outside the chamber's normal work week. "We will have a vote on Friday," said spokesman Kevin Madden.
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