In a letter to senators today, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is expected to ask them to support the controversial Protect IP bill and announce plans to count the upcoming Senate vote in its annual scorecard, which helps the business lobby decide who to support and oppose come election time, according to a lobbyist working on behalf of the Chamber.
The legislation, which aims to squash counterfeiting and piracy on foreign websites, is supported by business and labor groups as well content makers. It's opposed by Silicon Valley giants such as Google and Facebook. By scoring the vote, the Chamber is indicating that passing the Protect IP bill is one of its most important legislative priorities. In 2010, the Chamber scored 11 key Senate votes.
In its letter, the Chamber will include this message:
There is universal consensus that foreign rogue sites have detrimental impact on American businesses and consumers and that Congress needs to act. Recent announcements by sponsors of the legislation have made clear that the issues of Internet operation, security, and freedom will be addressed by a manager's amendment which will makes changes to the provision dealing with blocking of rogue sites. It is time that the Senate pass a narrowly tailored legislation that disrupts the ability of foreign criminals to prey on innocent consumers and steal American jobs. The Chamber urges the full Senate to debate and pass this important measure (S. 968).
At 2 p.m. today, Senate Republican staffers are scheduled to discuss legislative strategy, the consultant said.