FISA Update, More a Review

By June 24, 2008Briefly Legal

More from Politico on House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer getting credit — and grief — for making a compromise possible on the FISA legislation, H.R. 6304. Count us among those who say credit is deserved, not for the partisan smarts (which there were) but for the fact the legislation vitiates the punitive, politically motivated lawsuits against the private sector, i.e., the telecommunications companies.

Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) called the House bill a “capitulation.” Salon.com’s Glenn Greenwald called Hoyer an “evil, craven enabler of the Bush administration.” Firedoglake.com blogger Jane Hamsher — delivering the lowest possible blow from the liberal blogosphere — declared Hoyer “the new Joe Lieberman.”Hoyer knew it was coming, and he persevered anyway. That he did so speaks volumes about who he is: a master of cloakroom politics who can use his friendships across the aisle to strike deals, even if others demand that his party hew closer to the positions that put it in power in 2006.

CQ Politics reports that Senate votes will start Wednesday (following Sen. Reid’s filing of a cloture motion), and anti-surveillance Senators will oppose the measure but efforts to block it will likely fail. The Green Bay Press-Gazette reports that Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) will not attempt a filibuster against the bill, satisfied with making the case against it on the floor.

For a summary of the anti-arguments from the left (this time not so angry), try this post by mcjoan at The Daily Kos. For angry commentary, go here.

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