Upton Counts Enough Votes To OK Franchise Bill


House Telecommunications Subcommittee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) says that his subcommittee will mark up a  natoinal video franchising bill beginning April 4.

In an interview with C-SPAN, Upton said an hour or more of opening statements are planned to begin at about 5 p.m. Tuesday. The actual markup, which is the process of adding or subtracting amendments to the bill, will begin Wednesday at 10 a.m.

Upton hopes to finish Wednesday by close of business, with the full Commerce Committee taking up the bill after the Easter break.

Upton said he doesn't expect the ranking Democrats on the subcommittee and committee, Ed Markey of Massachusetts and John Dingell of Michigan, respectively, to support the bill in the committee, but has hopes that "at the end of the day I'd like to think we still could get their vote" but adding: "They probably aren't going to support it at least through the subcommittee process."

The two Democrats are concerned that the bill, which they once supported, does not now have sufficient protections agains discimination in the provision of Internet and video service.

Upton said he thought the bill would still pass out of subcommittee and committee, and said: "I suspect that we have way more than enough votes to pass it with a decent margin on the House floor, and I suspect we will get there by May."