Sen. Leahy blames GOP for scuttled vote on anti-piracy bill

Senate Judiciary chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Monday blamed Republicans for scuttling his Protect IP Act (PIPA) and said he hopes to revive the bill after a brief delay.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) canceled a cloture vote scheduled for Tuesday afternoon on PIPA after Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and a number of Republican co-sponsors withdrew their support for the controversial bill.

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"I thank the majority leader for seeking to schedule that debate on this serious economic threat. I understand that when the Republican leader recently objected, and Republican senators who had cosponsored and long supported this effort jumped ship, he was faced with a difficult decision," Leahy said in a floor speech.

"My hope is that after a brief delay, we will, together, confront this problem."

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Leahy has been the chief sponsor of PIPA and its predecessor, the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act, both of which have drawn concerns about free speech from public interest groups and the technology industry.

Reid indefinitely postponed floor consideration of PIPA after widespread online protests against the bill and its House counterpart, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), last week. At the time, Reid said he's optimistic lawmakers can reach a compromise on the legislation in the coming weeks.

But opponents of PIPA and SOPA are unlikely to be satisfied with small changes to the bill's language. They have labeled a number of provisions problematic including the bill's definition of infringing sites and attempts to block rogue sites using the domain name system.