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STELAR Hotlined in Senate

The just-passed Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act Reauthorization (STELAR) Act, the House reauthorization of the satellite compulsory license, has been hotlined in the Senate.

That is an off-the-floor way to achieve swift passage in that body by seeking unanimous consent, essentially asking anybody who has objections to register them, and if none are registered, the bill passes. One "nay" vote and the fast-track move fails.

The House-passed bill had bicameral and bipartisan support, and the last potential sticking point appeared to be removed after Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), said he would not block the bill (as he had a Senate version) over the provision that eliminates the integrated cable set-top ban. Markey opposed that provision, but said he supported others in the bill and would not stand in the way.

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