July 30, 2005


Senate Approves Bill Protecting Gun Businesses (CARL HULSE, 7/30/05, NY Times)

"This is about politics, the power of the N.R.A. to dictate legislation," said Senator Jack Reed, Democrat of Rhode Island, who led the opposition. [...]

The gun measure was just one of the significant pieces of legislation to advance as Congress cleared its plate for a fall that will initially be consumed, in the Senate at least, by consideration of a Supreme Court nominee. Before leaving, Senate Republicans and Democrats also agreed on the schedule for confirmation hearings.

Ending a long policy struggle, the Senate passed and sent to Mr. Bush a broad piece of energy legislation, fulfilling an early domestic policy goal of his administration.

After extinguishing one last policy flare-up, the House and Senate also gave final approval to a $286.4 billion highway measure stuffed with special projects for virtually every Congressional district in the nation. Congress also finished its first two spending bills of the year, delivering $1.5 billion in emergency money to cover a shortfall in spending on veterans' health care.

And in an unexpected development, the Senate renewed its version of the antiterror USA Patriot Act.

It was a blistering pace ...

It's about the Democrats' lack of power.

Senate Makes Permanent Nearly All Provisions of Patriot Act, With a Few Restrictions (ERIC LICHTBLAU, 7/30/05, NY Times)

The Senate voted unanimously on Friday to make permanent virtually all the main provisions of the law known as the USA Patriot Act, after Republican leaders agreed to include additional civil rights safeguards and to forestall any expansion of the government's counterterrorism powers.

The House passed a bill of its own last week that would also extend the law's surveillance and law enforcement powers, which the Bush administration considers critical to combating terrorism. While the House and Senate bills are not identical, the differences are modest enough that Congressional officials said they were confident that they could work out a compromise.

Didn't John Kerry run against the Patriot Act?

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 30, 2005 8:00 AM

Hanoi John ran against the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which is why he lost: that dog wouldn't hunt.

Posted by: Lou Gots at July 30, 2005 9:29 AM

Didn't John Kerry vote FOR the Patriot Act?

Posted by: jim hamlen at July 30, 2005 9:34 AM

He voted for it before he campaigned against it.

Posted by: David Cohen at July 30, 2005 1:15 PM

No one can really knows for sure what John Kerry ran against, including John Kerry.

Posted by: carter at July 30, 2005 2:53 PM

Ah yes, but whatever the issue, he had a plan for it!

Posted by: ray at July 30, 2005 3:12 PM

John Kerry didn't have the balls to run against the Patriot Act.

Posted by: Rick Perlstein at July 31, 2005 1:47 AM

Teresa did.

Posted by: oj at July 31, 2005 10:16 AM

John Kerry has balls? I thought he left them on the Swift Boat....

Posted by: ratbert at July 31, 2005 1:24 PM

Rick: His code was that he was going to end the "Ashcroft era," which was as pitiful a campaign promise as any candidate has ever made.

Posted by: David Cohen at July 31, 2005 6:46 PM

Must be why the press keeps trumpeting poll after poll showing Bush's popularity falling - anything to get him to slow down and listen to the Democrats. Anything to keep him from eating their lunches.

Posted by: Mikey at August 1, 2005 9:28 AM