FISA Changes May Not Become Law During Bush's Tenure

I have long been opposed to any re-write of FISA granting additional powers to conduct electronic surveillance. FISA's not broke, it doesn't need fixing and it certainly doesn't need weakening at the expense of the Fourth Amendment.

This is a bill, as the Washington Post says, that "would update the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to expand the powers of intelligence agencies and keep pace with ever-changing communications technologies."

The good news, as I see it, is this:

The House's action ensures that Bush will not receive surveillance legislation for several weeks. But some lawmakers from both parties said the impasse is now so deep that the issue may not be resolved until a new president takes office next year.

Bush and Republican lawmakers have shown no desire to move further toward the House Democratic leaders' position, and the Democrats are showing no sign of buckling under the mounting political pressure.

Maybe we won't get a FISA re-write after all.

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  • Display: Sort:
    That's just fine by me (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by scribe on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 03:51:19 PM EST
    Doing nothing is as good as, if not better than, doing something which might - or might not - change things for the worse.

    If The House Dems Hold Firm And No New (none / 0) (#2)
    by MO Blue on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 03:54:26 PM EST
    legislation is passed, my opinion of the Dems, at least House Dems,  will definitely improve somewhat.

    Looks That Way (none / 0) (#3)
    by squeaky on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 03:54:35 PM EST
    And according to Greenwald the House Dems have been stepping up to the plate in a big way.

    That is the result we want (none / 0) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 03:57:32 PM EST
    Nothing for this President.

    Should have taken this position on Iraq.

    What of our '09 president? (none / 0) (#5)
    by faux facsimile on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 04:03:04 PM EST
    Any idea where Clinton or Obama stand on amending FISA? It's all very well to let Bush's intransigence block things for now, but I'm not thrilled to see the whole thing return in Jan. '09.

    I'm certainly not convinced that a Democratic Congress will be sufficiently skeptical of requests for 'reform' on surveillance should they emerge from a Democratic president.

    ads on TV (none / 0) (#6)
    by wasabi on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 04:05:35 PM EST
    I see several ads a day on my TV (Tx) calling on citizens to call the House of Representatives and demand that they pressure them to pass the FISA bill before we all die.  Guess it's not working.

    Come into my parlor (none / 0) (#7)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 05:28:39 PM EST
    said the spider to the fly...

    This is exactly what the Repubs want. And as a McCain supporter let me extend my heart felt thanks.

    Now, let us pray that we don't suffer an attack.

    Long time no see (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Dadler on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 06:16:03 PM EST
    Seems like nothing has changed.  Keep praying.  

    If your only worry is a terrorist attack, then all the other violence fades away.  Seeing as any nutcase that wants to kill a bunch of people can, and quite easily, I'm not sure your abiding prayers mean much.  Why would they need to attack us here, Jim.  We took the bait and did exactly what they wanted.  Now we're bogged down violently in two places, are economy is in a shambles, and one of the guys running for president thinks it just dandy that we stay occuply that foreign land for a century or more, and that civilian control of the military in this war should be handed to David Petraeus.  

    And while you're at it, take a look at a chart that shows the cost of this war, and what is has meant in resource losses, for just one American city -- Cleveland.


    This is where the netroots have to join together (none / 0) (#8)
    by jerry on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 06:03:42 PM EST
    Nothing more, ever, to this guy.  Give him his ticket to his new land in South America, give him his fancy army uniforms to play dress up in, but no more legislation.

    "We need to preserve options for the next administration."

    For me, the best part of the bill (none / 0) (#10)
    by shoephone on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 08:58:39 PM EST
    is that is does NOT give retoactive immunity to the telecoms that have been spying on us without court orders since February 2001.

    And I'm a bit stunned that Pelosi and Hoyer were able to get enough Blue Dogs to support the right bill. I'm thinking maybe the big pushback from Jane Hamsher's and Glen Greenwald's lobbying effort had an effect as well.