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UPDATED Rubio says he doesn't support Internet piracy bill (aka the Wikipedia blackout bill) anymore

Sen. Marco Rubio said this morning that he is dropping support for a controversial Internet piracy bill, contending it is being rushed through the legislative process and could have "unintended consequences." His retreat comes on the day of a national protest.

Rubio wrote on Facebook: "In recent weeks, we’ve heard from many Floridians about the anti-Internet piracy bills making their way through Congress. On the Senate side, I have been a co-sponsor of the PROTECT IP Act because I believe it’s important to protect American ingenuity, ideas and jobs from being stolen through Internet piracy, much of it occurring overseas through rogue websites in China. As a senator from Florida, a state with a large presence of artists, creators and businesses connected to the creation of intellectual property, I have a strong interest in stopping online piracy that costs Florida jobs. ...

Earlier this year, this bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously and without controversy. Since then, we've heard legitimate concerns about the impact the bill could have on access to the Internet and about a potentially unreasonable expansion of the federal government's power to impact the Internet. Congress should listen and avoid rushing through a bill that could have many unintended consequences.

Therefore, I have decided to withdraw my support for the Protect IP Act. Furthermore, I encourage Senator Reid to abandon his plan to rush the bill to the floor. Instead, we should take more time to address the concerns raised by all sides, and come up with new legislation that addresses Internet piracy while protecting free and open access to the Internet."

UPDATE: Rubio's retreat comes on the day of a national protest and after weeks of criticism from constituents and some prominent conservatives, including Red State blogger Erick Erickson.

Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson had joined Rubio in sponsoring the PROTECT IP Act, or PIPA. Nelson's spokesman Dan McLaughlin said the bill will be changed, improved. "He’s always been one of the Senate’s biggest advocates of privacy and consumer protections.  At the same time, something has to be done about piracy and counterfeiting via foreign websites."

Erickson of Red State wrote to readers:

This morning I noted that we should primary Senators and Representatives on the left and right who refuse to back away from SOPA and Protect IP.

Included in the list of sponsors, unfortunately, was Senator Marco Rubio. I would hate, hate, haaattttteeeee to primary such a great guy. We spent a lot of time, energy, effort, and money getting him elected. But SOPA/Protect IP is that bad.

Now, I’ve made clear that we wouldn’t do this unless the left was on board too and I’ve only really heard crickets from them. But it was a threat so many of us felt needed to be made to emphasize just how bad this legislation is.

Today, about an hour ago, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida showed again why he is a real leader and listener within the conservative movement. He is dropping his co-sponsorship of Protect IP.

I hope other Republicans in the Senate follow his leadership on this issue. and please call Senator Rubio’s office and thank him for his leadership. His number is (202) 224-3041. We often fight. We should also often say thanks.

Sincerely yours,

Erick Erickson 
Editor, RedState.com

--ALEX LEARY

Comments

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Deb Hanks

Good for Senator Rubio! Finally someone who is not afraid to change their mind in a positive way! Oh that other members in the House, Senate, and dare I say it, even the President would follow suite and decide to let their constituents decide how they should stand (vote) on issues! Could it be possible that this could be a new trend among governmental employees with elections looming ahead? (Not to imply that of Senator Rubio!) Maybe he will be the inspiration for others!!! We can only pray!

Walter Talley

Senator Rubio is a man of principals not po
litics and he thinks before he acts.

kef

Thanks for listening to the will of the people, Senator Rubio!

wanda cherry

I believe that whatever stand Senator Rubio takes will be in the best interest of his Country and the American People.

miami citizen

Good that he changed. But why did Marco Rubio support censorship in the first place?

Doug Montgomery

Nice news to hear sure, but won't the supporters try and try again? How can we make a compromise is what I'm after.

And yes, both of my personal sites have been blacked out in protest.

Steve

Because there are powerful well funded lobbyists that are backed by people like Don Henley who feels like he should get a check from you even if one of his tunes is running threw your mind...

J. M.

I guess he had to figure out just which way the political winds were blowing. Another "perfectly oiled weather vane on all the major issues of the day"

Tom Prentice

I guess my question is: Are you backing away from SOPA also???? Too many times Senators have left out itemsin their speeches and let people draw their own conclusions as to what the senators were really going to do. Only to find out too late the omitted item was worse than the item addressed in their speech!

Jesse T Mims

Re Rubio being such a great guy. If that is true, why was he pushing such an invasive piece of legislation to begin with?

More importantly, why does he claim to be a natural born citizen when he clearly does not meet the criteria required to attain that status?

There are three criteria required to be a natural born citizen:

1. MUST be born of TWO U.S. citizen parents.
2. MUST be born on 'U.S. soil' (includes U.S. territories, embassies, military bases and ships).
3. MUST have been a U.S citizen since birth with no interruption.

Neither of Rubio's parents were U.S. citizens at the time he was born; therefore, like Obama, he can never be VP or president. Even though he sill claims to be eligible, he says he is not interested in becoming president or VP.

However, in my opinion, he is patiently waiting to see if Obama manages to get through a full term; thereby, setting a precedent that the Constitution's presidential requirements are moot. If that happens, rest assured that Rubio will show a lot more in interest in the office of president.

Orlando

If the three criterias posted above are correct, then why was Mr. Obama elected President, his father was not an American citizen when he was born, yet they rushed him right-on-by just like they did when he ran on-opposed for the Senate seat in Illinois! Remember, the same city who's Senate seat was later for sale, I question who and how much that seat cost Obama's people? Sneaky Barry...

DG

IDK who is more crooked...

Rick Scott who said NO to the train then after the govt divied the money out said Gee we should of done that...

or this moron who CO-SPONSORED the bill (ovbiously the original bill which was much more restrictive) and then realizing that he stepped into a S&it storm decided to change his mind

no one seems to want to call these idio...politicians out on these flip flops and go with whatever is presented to them [the public] by these guys in charge...You guys really need to read 1984 a lot more of it is going on than you think!

lmmd

rubio is a puke and needs to be unseated!

The Dog

Rubio backed off because of fear of a lashback from the voters.

nightstalker4848

Funny I thought they called someone who changes their mind a flip flopper, They say he doesn't stick to his guns... I guess Rubio is another flip flopper just like all the rest.. If he was smart enough he would have seen what the bill was from the beginning instead of backing it.. Republicans are so quick to judge everyone else but when they do it, its ok... The bill was a bad idea from day one... The internet is the wild west. If you police it in the way the government wants to do it, it will destroy the freedom.. You have to go after the pirates themself... Which ends up being futile anyways...

Expert witness

Piracy is never been a good alternative method because it has stolen billions of dollars. It can get you to jail with a maximum detention.

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