⭐🔥 Click here to check Latest Celeb News & Celebrity Gossip in 2022! 🔥⭐
The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

Moderates Pushed House Dems to Adopt Telecom Immunity

Adaline Fritz
News
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Jun 20, 2008

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) was a leading voice in the negotiations that led to the controversial wiretapping proposal unveiled by Congress yesterday, and for that reason he’s been quoted all over the news media defending the bill. (As we reported this morning, the legislation effectively lets the telecoms off the hook for their warrantless cooperation in the program — a provision roundly criticized by civil libertarians.)

But to be fair to Hoyer, he was in a tough spot. Moderate House Democrats, fearing the fallout in their districts in November, were pressuring party leaders to do something on FISA. Inaction, on the campaign trail, would have been painted as putting the country at risk, and the White House wasn’t going to sign anything that didn’t contain immunity. The moderates, Hoyer said, were threatening to support a Senate-passed FISA bill that offered blanket immunity to the telecoms without any role of the district courts.

Asked by a reporter Wednesday why Democrats didn’t choose to punt the issue to next year, Hoyer responded:

In a world of alternatives, that sounds like an alternative that might be feasible. That assumes that you don’t have the votes for the Senate bill on the House floor if it came to the floor. I think that, clearly, enough Democrats have indicated that if the Senate bill were on the floor, they would vote for it — that it would have the majority of votes on the House floor if it came to the floor.

So frankly, you’re dealing in a world of alternatives. In my opinion, the alternatives are the Senate bill or something very substantially better than the Senate bill, which is what we’re trying to work for.

Asked if it was inevitable that the Senate bill would come to the floor without a House alternative, he said:

I think that there are many Democrats on our side of the aisle who have indicated to me that they are prepared to wait as long as we are working on an alternative. But if there were no alternative in sight, they believe that they would have to vote for the Senate bill.

Yes.

The saga is testimony to the power of the 30-second ad spot (or fear of it) to dictate federal policy. Because even if Democrats allowed the first warrantless surveillance orders to expire in August, the administration would retain its ability to wiretap through FISA (it would just have to go through the FISA court to do so). That might force more paperwork on the White House, legal experts say, but it would do nothing to make the country less safe from terrorist attack.

As Scott Silliman, of Duke Law School, said yesterday: “It would be more burdensome, but I can’t tell you that it puts the country at risk. Because it doesn’t.”

God bless television and A.D.D.

Adaline Fritz | Adaline's upbeat, can-do attitude and nurturing disposition make her perfect for understanding each client's wants and needs and skillfully directing them toward their real estate objectives. Adaline has experience in all facets of the real estate process, having started in the administrative sector and progressed to operations before achieving success in real estate sales. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from San Diego State University and Western Oregon University, and returned to the Portland area in 2011 to pursue a career in real estate. She also loves traveling, working out, and spending time on the water during Portland's beautiful summers.

Related

MA-Sen: 150 Conservative Bloggers Fan Out, Looking for Scandals

BOSTON -- The mysterious Election Journal blog, which first released the infamous 2008 video of two bumbling New Black Panther Party members waving nightsticks

MA-Sen: 66 to 19

BOSTON -- That, via Alex Isenstadt and Josh Kraushaar, is the number that defined the Massachusetts Senate race more than anything else. From the primary

MA-Sen: A Text Message From Scott Brown

BOSTON -- Having signed up for Scott Brown’s text message service for election day, I just got this text: Are you about to have lunch? It’s a great time to

MA-Sen: Loyal Democrats Grouse About Coakley

BOSTON -- A little while after noon, a steady crowd of Democratic voters streamed into the Cathedral High School Gymnasium to cast votes for their party’s

MA-Sen: Brown Wins

BOSTON -- At 9:20, the first rumors of Scott Brown’s victory in the Massachusetts Senate race started to work around the room. A moment later, Doug Flutie

MA-Sen Photos: ‘Paint the Town Red! Croakley’s Dead!’

Below are some photos of yesterday’s People’s Rally in Worcester, the rally that Brown held to counter-program the Obama rally in Boston. The crush of

MA-Sen: Out-of-Staters for Brown

BOSTON -- A surprising discovery at yesterday’s People’s Rally in Worcester was just how many people had traveled into the state to assist, in whatever way,

Menendez, Lautenberg to Continue BP-Lockerbie Investigation

Sens. Robert Menendez and Frank Lautenberg, both New Jersey Democrats, will continue to seek details about BP’s alleged involvement in the release last year of

Net Investors Bullish on Palin’s Prospects for Staying on Ticket

Just for fun, the Internet prediction Website Intrade has opened a contract on whether Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will be withdrawn as McCain’s running mate.

No Experience Necessary

Gov. Sarah Palin’s a middle-class hockey mom, but does that really qualify her to be vice president?

© Copyright 2022 The Washington Independent All Rights Reserved

Terms & Privacy | twi.news@washingtonindependent.com

⭐🔥 Click here to check Latest Celeb News & Celebrity Gossip in 2022! 🔥⭐