Stevens has doubts about telecom legislation

Although Senate Commerce Chairman Ted Stevens, (R-AL) thinks he will eventually get the 60 votes necessary to move a comprehensive package of telecom legislation for a vote on the Senate floor, he admitted for the first time last week it might not be until after the November elections.

The National Journal reported that Stevens said he is close to the 60-vote mark, but he acknowledged during an impromptu interview that he has not reached it. Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-TN, has insisted that Stevens secure 60 votes before scheduling floor time for the complex and controversial bill.

Waiting until a lame duck session after the November election puts the legislation — which contains many broadcast-related issues — in even greater doubt of passage during this Congress.