Thursday, January 17, 2008

Telecom Immunity Debate Revived

Brace for the cave-in?

Contrary to the completely erroneous claims by the Wall St. Journal Editorial Page that Senate Democrats intend to enact an 18-month extension of the Protect America Act without telecom immunity (false claims that produced some premature blogospheric declarations of victory last week), Reid has spent the last two weeks making abundantly clear that his intention is to bring to the Senate floor as early as next week the Bush-compliant Senate Intelligence Committee bill, and has further made clear that it's his expectation that that bill -- complete with warrantless eavesdropping powers and telecom immunity -- will pass. Because the Protect America Act is scheduled to expire in early February, it will be necessary to extend it by 30 to 60 days, but that is seen by the Senate Democratic leadership only as a tool to enable them to work out a deal with the House to ensure that a bill acceptable to the President is sent to the White House promptly.
Chris Dodd is still promising filibuster, should the Senate leadership capitulate, but is being shunned by his own caucus for standing up to Republicans and Harry Reid. Amazing.

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