WASHINGTON, Feb. 4 (UPI) -- The U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday passed a bill 264-158 that would delay the planned conversion to digital TV, sending it to President Barack Obama.
The White House press secretary said last week Obama would sign the bill if it passed by Congress.
The legislation, which passed the Senate last week, would delay by four months the scheduled conversion from analog to digital broadcast across the United States. The postponement was proposed to give people more time to prepare for the switch by buying new television sets, signing up for cable or satellite service, or installing converter boxes on their old TVs. The original change-over date was Feb. 17.
The House Wednesday approved the postponement measure, but not before defeating a Republican effort to send the bill to a Commerce Committee subcommittee. The motion would have asked the panel to consider an amendment that would have required stations broadcasting on parts of the spectrum that will be dedicated to public service once the switch occurs to surrender their space to public service on Feb. 18. The motion failed on a 240-180 vote.