WASHINGTON - In a defeat for President Bush , rebellious House Republicans on Saturday derailed legislation to overhaul the nation's intelligence agencies along lines recommended by the Sept. 11 commission...
Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney (news - web sites) both contacted congressional negotiators by phone in hopes of nailing down a compromise that could clear Congress in the final hours of a postelection session.
But Reps. Duncan Hunter and Jim Sensenbrenner, chairmen of the Armed Services and Judiciary committees, raised objections. Hunter, R-Calif., worried that provisions of the bill could interfere with the military chain of command and endanger troops in the field.
"In my judgment, this bill, without strongly reaffirming the chain of command, would render that area confused to the detriment of our Americans in combat so I will not support it," Hunter said.
Hunter said he knew that the president and Hastert wanted this bill, but "what we have to do here is exercise our best judgment."