Friday, June 20, 2008

Dems Fold on FISA . . . .

Nicolle Belle, John Amato and the crew at Crooks and Liars have been warning about Hoyer's behind-the-scenes backstabbing on FISA.

Today the knife was twisted.

From Congressional Quarterly:

House Passes Overhaul of Electronic Surveillance Rules

The House Friday passed an overhaul of electronic surveillance rules stemming from a bipartisan compromise that left Democrats divided.

The legislation, which would almost certainly lead to the dismissal of lawsuits against telecommunications companies accused of aiding the Bush administration’s warrantless surveillance program, won the support of 105 Democrats and 188 Republicans to pass by a margin of 293-129.

Senators agreed to place the bill on the calendar for next week and could clear it as early as Monday, delivering to President Bush legislation that gives him much of what he wants but with some restrictions he hoped to avoid. He placed a priority on the lawsuits’ dismissal, and on getting executive branch authority to conduct warrantless surveillance of foreign targets, even when they are communicating with people in the United States.

House members who voted against the bill said its expansion of executive branch surveillance powers would gut Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure.

“This bill scares me to death,” said Rep. Barbara Lee , D-Calif.

Supporters, on the other hand, said it was an improvement over a Senate-passed, White House-backed bill, which contained less court and congressional oversight. Some conservative Democrats have been pressing House leaders to take up that legislation all year long, and House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer , D-Md., said this week their support for that bill forced Democratic negotiators into a reluctant compromise.

“It’s not a happy occasion, but it’s the work we have to do,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi , D-Calif. She said the debate on the legislation was “valuable for making the bill better if not good enough but certainly preferable to the alternative we have.”

Republicans, including Bush himself, praised the legislation

That last line sums it up pretty well.

Remind me again why someone should vote for a democrat vs. a reguglican ? ? ? ?

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