I can’t believe it. The Senate passed their version of the Orphan Works bill (S 2913). The bill was hotlined, which means:
A “hotline” is an informal term for a request to members of the Senate to agree to allow a bill or resolution to be approved by the Senate without debate or amendment. A measure that is “hotlined” is recorded in the Congressional Record as a being agreed to by unanimous consent (UC). (Some hotlines can include amendments but limit debate and discussion and do not require individual votes on the amendment or the underlying bill).
A bill is hotlined at the discretion of the Majority Leader in consultation with the Minority Leader. The leader’s office contacts each Senate office with a message on a special alert line called “the hotline” that provides information on what bill or bills the leader is seeking to pass through unanimous consent. If an office has an objection to the bill being hotlined, they are asked to call the leader’s office and state that they would like to object to the bill being passed by unanimous consent. In practice, instead of requiring explicit unanimous consent to pass a bill, the hotline process only requires a lack of dissent.
In the spirit of the bill, the source of that info will remain conspicuously absent.
So, while our Senators are all swamped with the current economic crisis, someone or two people decide this is a good time to push this baby through.
Readers, I beg you, go here and send a message to your Representatives to oppose the Orphan Works bill. It’s as easy as filling in your contact info.
Congress is working this weekend, so don’t wait until Monday.