Monday, January 28, 2008

FISA fight - round three

By Libby

To borrow a phrase, just damn. We're still winning the battles. FireDogLake is liveblogging and recaps the day's events.
The Republicans in the Senate, acting at George Bush's behest, failed to get cloture on the Intelligence Committee's version of the FISA bill, so there will be no up-or-down vote. They then blocked along straight party lines a 30 day extension of the PAA that would keep protections in place they've been insisting at top volume were absolutely necessary for American security because the President told them to. The House will pass the 30 day extension tomorrow, and then it's possible the bill comes back to the Senate, but it's hard to imagine enough Repubicans will defy Bush to achieve the 60 votes necessary for an extension. The Republicans, to a one, are causing these "critical protections" to lapse.
Jeralyn has more breakdowns on the figures and emptywheel checks into her comment section with this good news.
This is nice:

I'm at a schmoozy event at the Senate today--Harry Reid gave an opening speech focusing on the areas where progressive loud mouths have really helped out the Senate.

He spoke for a bit about FISA--repeating what he has said publicly (that if the Republicans won't accept a PAA extension, then it will expire). But at the very start of his speech he named some of the people who had helped most on the FISA bill. McJoan (from DailyKos) and FDL's own Christy were the first two people he mentioned.
Witness the power of Blogtopia((y!sctp). We're making a difference. Reid thought this was a done deal in December and now he's backing down from capitulation and standing up in answer to the public outcry. This only happened because enough of us took the time to contact our Congresslizards. It's far from over, and there's no guarantees, but we've done good and I see an opportunity here to reframe this and beat the GOP at their own game.

Reid needs to stand his ground and let the cursed Act expire on Bush's veto and frame the defeat as GOP obstructionism. It appears he's trying to do just that. Ideally, they should trash all the current alternatives and just offer up the one simple fix that's necessary but I'd settle for anything that included decent oversight and no telecom immunity.

Good work everybody. We might win this one if we keep the pressure on.

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