Senate Delays Vote on Anti-Piracy PIPA Bill

Amid this week's internet blackout protests over the two anti-piracy bills making their way through Congress, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's office announced today that Tuesday's "test vote" on The Protect IP Act (PIPA) will be postponed.

Reid, D-Nev., announced his decision over Twitter.

"In light of recent events, I have decided to postpone Tuesday's vote on the PROTECT IP Act #PIPA," Reid tweeted.

"There's no reason that legitimate issues raised about PROTECT IP can't be resolved," Reid followed up in two additional tweets. "I'm optimistic that we can reach compromise on PROTECT IP in coming weeks."

The Senate was scheduled to hold a procedural vote on PIPA on Tuesday, Jan. 24, but today's announcement came after numerous co-sponsors of the bill withdrew their support for the bill and called for Reid to delay the test vote.

Pressure mounted on Reid to step back from the vote with each day.

On Thursday night the Senate's top Republican, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., urged Reid to reconsider the bill before holding a vote Tuesday.

"Rather than prematurely bringing the Protect IP Act to the Senate floor, we should first study and resolve the serious issues with this legislation," McConnell said late Thursday, "Considering this bill without first doing so could be counterproductive to achieving the shared goal of enacting appropriate and additional tools to combat the theft of intellectual property."

The House of Representatives' anti-piracy bill, the Stop online Piracy Act (SOPA), facing similar protests and waning Congressional support, faces an uncertain legislative fate as well.

On Wednesday, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, indicated that there is still much work to be done before legislation eventually comes to the floor.

"This bill is in committee," he said. "They've had a number of hearings, it's going through a mark-up and it's pretty clear to many of us that there's a lack of consensus at this point and I would expect that the committee would continue to work to try to build a consensus before this bill moves."