If you’ve been feeling a bizarre sense of apprehension or dread lately and can’t pinpoint the source, I may be able to help. Senator Christopher Bond (R-Mo.), Ranking Member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, floated a horrible “compromise” on FISA legislation and it’s been unanswered by the Democrats for two weeks.
Now, we’ve all heard that House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) is negotiating a deal with various other characters ranging from House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.), Senate Intel Chair Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), House Intel Chair Silvestre Reyes (D-Ariz.), Senator Bond — wait, no…not Senator Bond — and the White House. Yup. The White. House. It’s always nice when the administration makes an end-run around a law that it gets to be at the table when renegotiating that very same law.
So. Here we are, hearing that Hoyer will show his cards maybe as early as next week. Wouldn’t it have been nice, though, if as soon as Bond floated his non-compromise Hoyer called it what it was and said, “This doesn’t come anywhere close to protecting our constituents’ privacy and, by the way, this immunity clause it complete crap.” But he didn’t. So, we’ll wait to see what the next volley is and hope that we here in Washington and you in your districts will be strong enough to stop a bill that’s anything less than what we deserve. That is to say a bill that keeps the Fourth Amendment intact and doesn’t allow the phone companies off the hook. We’ll be keeping an eager eye on the Capitol in the coming weeks. Visit this space for updates.