DTV Bill Postponed as Part of Budget Package in Senate

Sep 13, 2005  •  Post A Comment

Senate leaders announced late Monday that the Senate Budget Committee has postponed until Oct. 26 a vote on a massive budget reconciliation bill, giving lawmakers an additional month to work on digital TV legislation.

The DTV bill, which will include such important elements as the DTV transition date, was previously expected to be completed by Sept. 16, the original deadline for inclusion in the budget reconciliation package. But Senate leaders agreed to postpone the budget deadline to allow lawmakers to focus on efforts to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina.

The House is also expected to postpone its deadline for reconciliation, though a new date had yet to be announced early Tuesday.

Lawmakers want to include the DTV bill in the reconciliation package because the bill will be used to determine future spending caps for congressional committees. With DTV legislation included, lawmakers on the House and Senate commerce committees will be able to justify spending on other programs over the next five years totaling more than $4.8 billion, the minimum expected to be raised from the auction of rights to the analog TV channels that broadcasters are supposed to return to the federal government as part of the DTV transition.