Sen. Pat Toomey is in Pittsburgh today, where (among other events) he'll attend the swearing-in of federal judge Mark Hornak along with Sen. Bob Casety and later tour Google's offices in Shadyside.
You can expect the SOPA and PIPA internet/copyright bills to be on the minds of the Googleites, even if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid put the Protect IP Act on hold today. Unlike Casey (who remains a PIPA sponsor) Toomey has announced his opposition to the act. From his office on Wednesday:
“Piracy of intellectual property is a legitimate concern that should be addressed. However, the PROTECT IP Act and the Stop Internet Piracy Act are flawed, and I cannot support them in their current form. I look forward to working with my Senate colleagues on this issue and finding a better legislative approach for tackling online piracy,” Sen. Toomey said.
In related news McCandless Democrat Jason Altmire too announced his opposition last night (though in the House -- see the ProPublica chart below -- the SOPA bill was all but dead already). Here's Altmire's statement:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congressman Jason Altmire (PA-04) today announced that he would oppose the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). Congressman Altmire made the announcement at the Fountainhead Café in Monaca, Pennsylvania after meeting with developers, programmers, and computer engineers to discuss the legislation. This week, Congressman Altmire spoke with industry experts on both sides of the debate and accepted the invitation to discuss the issue from the café’s owner on Twitter.
“I have spent the last week talking with industry experts on the impacts this legislation will have on the Internet,” Congressman Altmire said. “After hearing the concerns, and after tonight’s discussion, I am convinced that we need to find a more balanced way to protect intellectual property and combat online piracy and copyright infringement. The current bill has the ability to stifle innovation and shut off access to legitimate, popular websites. I am open to working with industry experts on both sides of the issue to craft language that serves the dual purpose of preserving access to the Internet while preventing illegal piracy of copyrighted content.”
UPDATE 11:30 a.m. Primary opponent Mark Critz weighs in too:
“I believe that we must protect American innovation and the intellectual property rights of individuals, while maintaining a free and open world wide-web. SOPA in its current form is unacceptable, and I applaud the House Judiciary Committee’s decision today to halt the advancement of this legislation until wider agreement can be found on a solution to address the problem of online piracy.”