WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a senior member of the House Telecommunications and the Internet Subcommittee, today released the following statement regarding the digital television (DTV) transition on February 17, 2009.

Rep. Markey said, "President-elect Obama's call to move back the digital television transition date highlights the vulnerability of millions of Americans to the impending analog signal shut-off. It also underscores the need for prompt Congressional examination of his proposal.

"Moving the transition date entails significant logistical challenges. However, the prospect of leaving millions of consumers in the dark requires Congress to immediately consider the feasibility of the President-elect's proposal. In addition, Congress should move quickly to address the needs of the millions of Americans currently on a waiting list for coupons to purchase converter boxes. The Bush administration left us with insufficient notice to address this critical problem on anything other than an emergency basis. The Congress should immediately pass legislation providing for an exemption to the Antideficiency Act. This would make it possible for an additional 8 million Americans to receive coupons. I will work with my colleagues on this and other steps to protect consumers as quickly as possible."

UPDATE: January 9, 2009 - Markey Draft Legislation to expedite the issuance of coupons as part of the digital-to-analog onverter box program, and for other purposes.

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January 8, 2009

CONTACT: Daniel Reilly (202) 225-2836