Defense Appropriations Bill May Extend Satellite License Deadline

Deadline for sunset of satellite distant signal license would be pushed to Feb. 28

Still wrangling over healthcare, it looks like Congress will
be putting off wrangling with the bill reauthorizing the satellite distant
signal license until early next year.

At least that is according to a copy of the Department of
Defense appropriations bill (H.R. 3326).

According to the bill's language, hammered out by the House
and Senate Tuesday, the Satellite Home Viewer Extension and Reauthorization Act
will need to add another E for extension.

The DOD bill extends the deadline for sunset of that license
from Dec. 31 to Feb. 28, giving Congress 60 more days to work on it.

The bill's provision allowing DISH network back into the
distant network signal business drew criticism in the Senate and, according to
sources, prompted Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) to put a hold on it. Sessions'
office had not returned a call at press time.

The DOD bill includes a 60-day extension on a number of
expiring programs, according to the Rules Committee, including the Patriot Act
and COBRA benefits.

The DOD bill is expected to be voted on today (Dec. 16).