The markup in the House Judiciary Committee of the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, has begun. Observers expect at least two days of markups, and the bill wouldn’t see the House floor until sometime thereafter, probably next year. There are over 60 amendments on the bill, and opponents on the committee are dragging out the proceedings. Rep. Zoe Lofgren refused to waive the reading of the bill, so Judiciary staffers needed to spend an hour doing that.
Understand that this bill is getting a hearing, and a markup, because very wealthy interests want it to pass. It so happens that very wealthy interests want it to fail, but that puts it on the agenda as well, because both sides can go to their funders and raise money off the threat of the bill passing or failing. This becomes a bonanza for K Street lobbyists. There are over 1,000 of them working on SOPA.