SOPA Protests Sway Congress: 31 Opponents Yesterday, 122 Now

Yesterday the Internet cried out in protest of SOPA-PIPA, and congress heard us loud and clear. At the beginning of Janaury 18th, there were 80 members of congress who supported the legislation, and 31 opponents. Now, just 63 support SOPA-PIPA, and opposition has surged to 122, according to ProPublica.

Unfortunately, there are still more stated supporters than opponents in the Senate. There, PIPA needs 60 supporters out of 100 for it to pass, and two-thirds majority (67 votes) to prevent President Obama from being able to veto. At this rate PIPA would pass.

ProPublica, an independent non-profit news room define supporters and opponents according to ” whether a member is a sponsor of the proposed bills, and each member’s voting record on the current bills’ precursors and alternatives.” It’s been keeping a real-time count of Congressional support and opposition.

Prior to the protests, many Congress members hadn’t declared their position. In response to educational efforts and opinion of their constituents, many have now come out as opponents. Meanwhile, some supporters have changed their minds.

Here are ProPublica’s SOPA support and opposition breakdowns as of 5:15 pm PST, January 19th.

  • Total: 63 supporters, 122 opponents
  • Senate: 37 supporters, 22 opponents
  • House: 26 supporters, 100 opponents
  • Democrats (across the Senate and House): 40 supporters, 55 opponents
  • Republicans (across the Senate and House): 22 supporters, 67 opponents

Some other key facts:

  • Both of California’s Senators support SOPA-PIPAn, likely due to ties to the entertainment industry. Thankfully more California House members oppose it than support it.
  • 25 of the 37 Senate supporters are Democrat
  • Opponents tend to be younger, especially in the house. So yes, old people don’t understand the internet.

If the current ratio of supporters to opponents holds, PIPA would receive 62 votes in the Senate and pass.  Even if Obama would still have the power to veto it, this means our work isn’t done. Use the Electronic Frontier Foundations ‘Strike Against Censorship’ page to call or email your representatives.

For more info on the protests and their impact, check out TechCrunch’s stream of SOPA-PIPA coverage