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Senate Fails To Pass Satellite License Bill Extension

The Senate Thursday (Feb. 25) failed to pass by unanimous
consent a package of bill extensions including the 30-day extension for
satellite blanket license bill, which would extend that license another
five years.

If a bill or extension does not pass by Feb. 28, the license
expires and satellite operators will not be allowed to import distant
TV station signals to viewers who cannot receive a viewable version of
local affiliate.

The House passed the package by unanimous consent Thursday,
according to a source, but a single Senator, Republican Jim Bunning of
Kentucky, blocked an
attempted vote in the Senate Thursday night, a spokesperson for the
Judiciary Committee confirmed.

His opposition was not to the satellite bill, but to
provisions related to unemployment insurance extensions in the package.

The license had already gotten a 60-day extension to Feb. 28
after STELA (the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act) failed
to get
a vote in the Senate, reportedly blocked by Republicans unhappy with a
provision to allow DISH network back into the distant-signal business,
which it has been foreclosed by court order.

A call to the office of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
(D-Nev.) went unanswered.