FISA…Just a Little More Delay for National Security

By February 4, 2008Briefly Legal, Communications

The Senate just resumed consideration of S. 2248, the FISA amendments, with Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO) reminding Senators that the legislation came out of the Senate Intelligence Committee on a 13-2 bipartisan vote after months of deliberation. A (tentative?) agreement has been reached allowing votes on several amendments.

CQ reported (subscription only):

Aides in both parties do not believe an amendment to the bill (S 2248) that would strip its most controversial provision — its grant of retroactive legal immunity for telecommunications companies being sued over allegations that they assisted the National Security Agency’s warrantless surveillance program — has enough votes to win adoption.

Nor do aides believe most of the other amendments that take a different approach to immunity — or those that restrict the spying powers the bill would give to the executive branch — will win the necessary votes.

Final action in the Senate will probably not occur until late in the week, and then the bill returns to the House, which did not provide immunity. After last week’s extension, FISA authority expires on February 16.

An earlier CQ story (available here) covered the manuevering and, referring to Majority Leader Reid, reported: “When asked if an extension is just a way of punting a problem, Reid said, ‘I kind of like punts. Sometimes it gives you a good field position. Punting isn’t the worst thing in the world.’ ” Field position on questions of national security? A quip, one hopes.

Speaking of field position, Sen. Schumer is now saluting the New York Giants.

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Paul Dirks says:

    Field position on questions of national security

    Because after all, what’s good for ATT is good for America. Outsourcing our national security to the highest bidder seems to be the order of the day.

    The FISA debate would make a lot more sense if you folks would stop lying for just one day…..

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