Joining other lawmakers, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) announced Wednesday that he would no longer support the Protect IP Act, amid widespread online protests against the legislation and its House counterpart, the Stop Online Piracy Act.
"After listening to the concerns on both sides of the debate over the PROTECT IP Act, it is simply not ready for prime time and both sides must continue working together to find a better path forward," said Hatch in a statement.
Hatch once co-sponsored the legislation. Now he wants to delay debate on the bill, scheduled for next week.
Sens. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) also withdrew their support Wednesday. Rubio said in a statement, "Congress should listen and avoid rushing through a bill that could have many unintended consequences."
The Huffington Post's Ryan Grim and Zach Carter reported on the contents of the bill:
SOPA would give both the government and major corporations the power to shut down entire websites accused of copyright infringement with neither a trial nor a traditional court hearing. The legislation is aggressively backed by Hollywood movie studios and major record labels, along with several major news providers, including Fox News and NBC-Universal, which have largely shied away from coverage of the bill.
Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) plans to bring the bill to the Senate floor early next week.
See what other lawmakers are saying about the controversial legislation: