Our long national nightmare is over! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Congress pulled it together in the eleventh hour to end the government shutdown and avert economic disaster. Washington is a much happier city this week with all of its federal workers back on the job and our beloved panda cam streaming to the masses once again.
Just make sure you mark your calendars for January 15 next year, because that's how long Congress has to come up with a longer term fix to fund the government. Members on both sides of the aisle are eager to avoid another shutdown, but smart money says a compromise won't be reached without a fight.
With the next government funding battle three months away, the Senate is in recess this week. The House is in session Tuesday through Friday, but their schedule is pretty light after the excitement of the last couple weeks. As for us, it's a surveillance heavy week here at the ACLU.
Wednesday, October 23rd
The George Washington University Homeland Security Policy Institute will host an event titled "State and Local Fusion Centers: Key Challenges for the Next Decade." Rep. Mike McCaul (R-Tx.), Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, is scheduled to present the keynote address.
Thursday, October 24th
The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence will hold an open hearing on NSA Programs.
Friday, October 25th
The ACLU is helping to lead a coalition lobby day for people from across the country to urge their representatives in Congress to rein in surveillance programs authorized pursuant to Patriot Act Section 215 and FISA Amendments Act Section 702.
Saturday, October 26th
StopWatchingUs, a nationwide coalition of privacy and civil liberties groups, will host a rally to protest the NSA's domestic surveillance programs under Patriot Act Section 215 and FISA Amendments Act Section 702.