According to The New York Times, just a week after rejecting the proposal to delay the DTV transition, members of the House of voted 264 to 158 in the bill’s favor, delaying the transition to June 12—a nearly four-month delay. President Obama has indicated that he will sign the bill.
The Times report says that last month the Nielsen Company estimated that 6.5 million homes were not prepared for the switch, in spite of the roughly $1 billion campaign that raised awareness of the impending switch.
The report quotes Amy Brundage, a White House spokeswoman, as saying that the Obama administration would “continue to work with Congress to improve the information and assistance available to American consumers in advance of June 12, especially those in the most vulnerable communities.” The stimulus package currently before congress includes up to $650 million in coupons to ease the transition by subsidizing the purchase of digital converter boxes.
According to The Associated Press, among House Democrats, 241 voted for the bill; 10 voted against it. Among Republicans, 23 voted for the bill; 148 voted against it. The House failed to pass the bill last week because Republicans used a special fast-track procedure that required two-thirds support to pass. This time, the bill passed under a regular floor vote, which requires a simple majority.
The Times notes that the legislation permits some stations to turn off their analog signals prior to the June 12 deadline. Hundreds of stations will continue with their February transition plans.