In his latest SPARC Open Access Newsletter issue Peter Suber provides a detailed analysis of why the Research Works Act died, and why FRPAA should pass.
His assessment, quoted below, is followed by an explanation of what we can do to help FRPAA's chances:
"Will FRPAA pass?
We don't know, of course. Several factors weigh against it: This is an election year. Congress is as gridlocked and incapacitated as it has ever been, even for legislation with bipartisan support. Many policy issues have a higher priority in Congress than OA.
But several factors boost its chances. This is FRPAA's third time around, and the first two times did a lot of the hard work in educating policy-makers about the issues. The first two times around also gathered some significant endorsements, for example, more than 120 US college and university presidents and provosts, 41 Nobel laureates, major library and public-interest organizations, and at least two non-academic, business-oriented organizations, NetCoalition and the Committee for Economic Development. The White House RFI responses are generally stronger than FRPAA; they're already public and may soon appear in Interagency Working Group reports and White House action.
Finally we can't overlook the RWA shipwreck and the rising tide that beached it. The same forces that brought down RWA are now refocusing on raising up FRPAA. The same forces that protect the NIH policy from repeal now want to see it strengthened and extended to other agencies. The Congressional offices which have begun to understand the issues are heartily tired of publisher misrepresentations.
The RWA, COMPETES Act, FRPAA, and the White House RFI can be put in roughly this order: anti, weak, strong, and stronger. Subtract anti and what do you have? Unambiguous good news. Only time will tell how good it is. And that's where you come in."