White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Friday that the administration expects the DTV date-change bill to pass next week, and that the president would be ready to sign it once it did.
Responding to a question at the previous day's briefing about the bill, a question he conceded he had not been well enough prepared for, Gibbs had a little trouble getting his bill votes straight.
"The transition asked that Congress delay the February 17th transition," he began. "The House -- I'm sorry, the Senate voted on that last week and passed that delay. The Senate took -- I mean, sorry, I'm confused today -- the Senate voted on that, the House took the bill up under a suspension of the rules requiring two-thirds of those present supporting the bill.
"The bill passed with an overwhelming majority, but not with the necessary two-thirds. The Senate last night took the bill up again and passed it. I'm told that the House will vote next week," he said, getting the bill's lineage right.
"We anticipate that the House will pass a delay on DTV to June 12. If that gets to the President's desk, and when that happens, the President will sign that delay into law so that we might undergo a little bit better planning process to ensure no interruption for people with televisions."
The Obama administration's support of the bill is no surprise. It was his transition team co-chair, John Podesta, who wrote Congress three weeks ago asking that the date be moved.
On the same day Gibbs was talking to reporters about better DTV planning, acting FCC Chairman Michael Copps was saying the same thing to a consumer advisory committee.
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