Timeline: Sen. Lee and PIPA
A list of statements and legislative actions made by Sen. Lee relating to PIPA.
Contact us at sopa[at]propublica.org if you have additions or corrections.
Jan 18, 2012
Reiterates opposition to PIPA
“Protection of private property rights is an essential foundation of our nation’s free market economy. Online piracy poses a significant threat to the intellectual property rights of American innovators, and much of that threat comes from foreign websites that are currently unaccountable to the rule of law. I am committed to making certain that these infringing pirate sites are not able to continue stealing our country’s intellectual property without consequence. While I am sympathetic to the basic objectives of the PROTECT IP Act, I have consistently expressed concern that several of its provisions would threaten Internet security, stifle the free flow of online information, and unduly burden third parties. As a result, I declined to cosponsor this legislation and have worked from the beginning to make critical changes to the bill to resolve these concerns. Unless and until such revisions are made, I will continue to oppose the bill. Rather than rush to vote on such deeply flawed legislation, the Senate should carefully discuss and debate how best to protect American intellectual property, preserve Internet security, and promote the free exchange of ideas. I hope and expect that Leaders Reid and McConnell will ensure that we have ample opportunity to explore the issue and attempt to resolve these concerns before the Senate holds a vote.”
Jan 13, 2012
Co-signed letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid urging a delay in cloture vote.
"Since the mark-up, we have increasingly heard from a large number of constituents and other stakeholders with vocal about possible unintended consequences of the proposed legislation, including breaches in cybersecurity, damaging the integrity of the Internet, costly and burdensome litigation, and dilution of First Amendment rights. Moreover, in light of potential cybersecurity implications, we believe hearing from the Administration and relevant agencies is imperative. As always, our current fiscal crisis demands we carefully consider legislation that would cost taxpayers up to $43 million according to the Congressional Budget Office. These are serious issues that must be considered in an deliberative and responsible manner. This underscores the need to resolve as many outstanding concerns as possible prior to proceeding to floor consideration."
Jan 9, 2012
Press release clarifying position
"When the bill went through the Judiciary Committee (on which I sit), I made clear that, if it reached the floor it in its current form, I could not support it. PIPA is a moving target at this point because some of the bill's supporters, recognizing that many Americans are concerned with some of its provisions, are considering making adjustments to alleviate those concerns. My staff and I are working with the bill's sponsors to encourage them to make the necessary changes. Unless those changes are made, I will vote against PIPA."
May 26, 2011
Votes to move PIPA out of committee
Part of unanimous vote of approval by Senate Judiciary committee to move PIPA forward.
See a complete list of actions and statements by members of Congress