Talk Talk Talk Talk Talk Myself to Death: Closer to a Happy Ending?

Friday, March 14, 2008

Closer to a Happy Ending?

Good stuff coming from the House of Representatives today. The Democrats kept their wits about them under pressure of a Republican-demanded secret sessions and voted for the FISA bill without telecom immunity. Yeah, we've had our hopes raised before, and we're not all the way there yet, but this is closer than we've been. Over at Daily Kos, Kagro X, who was writing yesterday before the vote was held, explains some of the parliamentary maneuvering between the House and the Senate that's been in the works for a while and that makes it difficult for the Republicans to undermine the measures when they go back to the Senate. We've had the House approve a bill, the Senate approve a totally different bill, the House--in today's action--respond to the Senate bill; now the bill goes back to the Senate, but it will be more difficult for the Republicans to bring telecom immunity back into it. Not impossible, of course, so don't get over-confident, but they'll have to go through the front door to do it rather than just being able to kill it on the sly.

And that secret session? Well, no one knows what was discussed because, y'know, it's secret. Members of Congress can't talk about what was discussed whether it's government-protected information or not. Dana Milbank called it "It was the pinnacle of a day of pointlessness on both sides of the Capitol." Whatever was discussed, though, it clearly wasn't enough to make the necessary number of Democrats switch their votes to bring the legislation down. Better luck next time.

One more thing to note. Last week there was a special election in the suburban Chicago area to fill the Congressional seat abandoned when Denny Hastert abandoned his office only half way through his term. It was won by Democrat Bill Foster,, who today added his voice to those voting to put forward a surveillance bill that takes telecom immunity out of the picture. Congratulations, Bill!


Post a Comment

<< Home