FISA: Debate Starts on Inadequate House Bill

By March 14, 2008Briefly Legal, Communications

Now debating the rule for the FISA Amendments Act. Yesterday’s secret session in the House achieved…well, we don’t know…it was secret. From CNet:

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said he heard nothing new that would dissuade him from urging the House to support the bill that Democrats have drafted. Blunt, for his part, said the “constructive session” offered “powerful reasons” why the House should instead support a U.S. Senate version, favored by President Bush, which does supply retroactive immunity.

An hour of debate was scheduled to begin late Friday morning, with votes expected to wrap up during the early afternoon. Even if the Democrats succeed in getting their bill passed, however, it would have to be reconciled with the Senate’s version. President Bush has promised to veto anything lacking retroactive immunity.

Rep. Doc Hastings (R-WA) notes that the current proposal being considered on the House floor will have a total of 20 minutes of debate available for the House Intelligence Committee on the issue. Why such a closed rule?

Let the House vote on the Senate bill, S. 2048, which passed on a strong, overwhelming bipartisan vote, Hastings argues.

Leave a Reply