MSNBC published late Friday a detailed article about the obstacles facing HR 3752 in the Senate, notably the definition issues previously noted here. This is the first article (that I have seen) in the mainstream media to talk about the status of this legislation in any detail. There are a number of interesting tidbits in the article, such as identifying the senator who raised concerns about the bill as Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma.
There may be some good news for the legislation, though. I spent the weekend at the International Space Development Conference, the annual National Space Society conference, in Oklahoma City (hence the lack of postings the last few days). According to a couple of sources I talked with there, on different sides of the issue, there appears to be a way to tweak the definitions in a way that will satisfy all involved. There were no details about what that change would be, but it apparently will assuage Rocketplane’s concerns while not creating significant new burdens for passage. The revised bill would have to go back to the House for its approval, but those sources said this should not be a serious issue. According to one source, the hope is to get the bill passed and sent to the President by the end of June—perhaps so that he can sign it into law around the same time that he delivers his next address on space policy, which is rumored to be in the works for some time this summer.