Waxman, Boucher Push DTV Date-Change Bill To Colleagues

House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Telecommunications & Internet Subcommittee Chairman Rick Boucher (D-VA) pushed the DTV date-change bill in a "dear colleague" letter Monday.

"How Many Families in Your Congressional District Are Waiting for a Digital Television Converter Box?" was the headline on the letter.

They pointed out that the waiting list for $40 coupons subsidizing the purchase of the boxes is now 3.3 million requests long from over 1.8 million households. But they went even farther, spelling out for each House member what that translated to in terms of constituents in their respective districts.

"We have received data from the Commerce Department on the number of households in your district that are on the waiting list for digital converter box coupons. In order to assist you in evaluating the need for the DTV Delay Act, we have attached a table that contains this information for each member of Congress."

To check out the list, click here.

The House is scheduled to vote Wednesday on a bill that would move the DTV transition date from Feb. 17 to June 12 and allow people with expired coupons to reapply for them.

Money would come from the $650 million in the economic stimulus package. President Barack Obama supports the move and has said he expects the House to approve the bill--the Senate already has.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.