House fails to pass digital television delay

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In a surprising move, the House of Representatives have not passed the bill that would see the digital television transition from February 17 to June 12 after worries that the poor, elderly and rural households were not ready with the transition.

The move, which was supported by Barack Obama, passed through the Senate earlier in the week.

Under house rules, the bill needed to have a two-thirds majority (or 290 seats out of 435 seats) in the house. However, it failed to produce the result, with only 258 voting in favour with the delay, and 168 voting against, a move that is seen as a victory to the Republicans, who do not have a majority in either the Senate or House.

The move will now see the date, which was mandated by Congress, back to February 17 – unless the bill is reintroduced to the House.