August 3, 2007


Senate passes Bush-backed spy bill (Thomas Ferraro and Richard Cowan, 8/03/07, Reuters)

The Democratic-led U.S. Senate, amid warnings of further attacks on the United States, approved a bill on Friday that would allow President George W. Bush to maintain his controversial domestic spying program. [...]

Offered by Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, no relation to the national intelligence director, the bill would allow the administration to continue the warrantless surveillance but require it to describe to a secret federal court the procedures it uses in targeting foreign suspects.

The Senate defeated, on a 45-43 vote, a Democratic alternative, which would have placed tighter controls on the spying and provided for independent assessments of the attorney general's implementation of the measure.

The Senate votes came shortly after Republicans in the House rejected as inadequate a competing Democratic measure.

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid criticized the Senate-passed bill, saying it "authorizes warrantless searches and surveillance of American phone calls, e-mails, homes, offices and personal records for however long (it takes for) an appeal to a court of review."

Pretty much the only remaining question is whether the President made Harry carve his own paddle.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 3, 2007 10:34 PM

Interesting that 11 (not counting Tim Johnson) did not vote on the Democratic measure (and also did not vote on the Mitch McConnell measure, which passed 60-28).

Interesting that 15 would switch their votes on an issue of conscience. No wonder Harry Reid is skipping the KosConvention.

The Dems have played their surrender cards for almost 7 full months now. They can't go on without it starting to hurt, which is why Murtha is stomping off the House floor and Jim Clyburn is telling the WaPo that a positive report from General Petraeus in Sept. will split the Democratic party.

One wonders which Dem presidential candidate will be the first to be asked about the impending Petraeus report (and its implications for election). One wonders which MSM 'turncoat' will be the first to ask.

Posted by: jim hamlen at August 3, 2007 11:55 PM