Barton Might Push DTV Bill by Itself

House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Joe Barton (R-Texas) said Wednesday that he might try to pass digital-TV legislation by itself if the House fails to pass a budget bill this year.

Barton's digital-TV bill -- which would end analog TV Dec. 31, 2008, and provide a net $830 million in set-top subsidies -- is included in the House budget package, which, so far has proven too controversial to pass.

The Senate, however, has passed its budget bill.

A Barton spokesman could not say whether Barton would try to pass his stand-alone digital-TV bill this year or put it on next year's agenda.