The bill is H.R. 5349, to extend the Protect America Act of 2007 for 21 days. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) rejects the arguments that the House needs more time, saying that if the House has time to investigate Roger Clemens, name post offices, and pass commemorations, then it has time to act to protect the United States.
First time we’ve seen a Rep. Rogers speech. Very, very good.
UPDATE (2:30 p.m.): From CQ Politics:
House Republicans engineered a series of procedural votes Wednesday in a bid to derail the Democrats’ proposed extension, which President Bush said he would veto. They argued that the House should simply take up and send to the White House a surveillance overhaul bill that the Senate passed by 68-29.
Because 21 conservative Blue Dog Democrats have endorsed the Senate-passed bill, Republicans might be able to win approval of the Senate bill through a motion to recommit the extension with instructions to amend it with the text of the Senate bill.
UPDATE (2:38 p.m.) The call goes out from the leftroots to pressure Blue Dog Democrats, with Daily Kos blogger McJoan urging, “Tell them to stop enabling the Republicans and Bush in taking away our civil liberties.”
Funny, OUR civil liberties are not threatened by the narrowly targeted monitoring of communications by foreign nationals — suspected terrorists — that may be routed through U.S. networks. Which is, contrary to the assertions from FISA-swamps, what the bills does, as documented in the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on S. 2248.
UPDATE (2:50 p.m.) From The Foundry blog at the Heritage Foundation: “The House has had more than half a year to conduct this important debate. They will not learn anything new in another 21 days. It is time for them to act now.”
UPDATE (4:15 p.m.): The House has voted down the 21 day extension, 191-229. We’ll post the roll call when it becomes available, but clearly, many Blue Dog Democrats took a gutsy stand — within their party, that is — and voted against the legislation. Congratulations to them.
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