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There is a vote likely today on the House re-draft of FISA legislation -- labelled at the moment "AMENDMENT TO H.R. 3773." I am hearing rumors of GOP maneuvers -- Blunt trying to call the House into "secret session" and/or adjourn before voting anyone? Lots of rumors swirling around the Hill, and there has been a GOP procedural motion to force a vote on the Senate bill before considering the House Dem amendment (obviously, we are encouraging a "no" vote on that one).
The votes won't likely be until later this afternoon, maybe 3-ish -- but calls to Representatives need to be made now to emphasize standing up for the rule of law and the Fourth amendment, and against Presidential/telecom immunity.
These are not partisan issues -- they are American ones. They raise questions about priorities, about legitimate limitations on governmental power versus allowance of substantial overreach. As the CATO Institute (a conservative/libertarian think tank) puts the ultimate question:
...civil liberties won’t be preserved through compromise. The partisans of ever-increasing executive power aren’t likely to go away any time soon. If Congress compromises and agrees to further expand executive wiretapping powers, a future president will come back to Congress and argue that the law is still too restrictive and still more compromises are needed....At some point, Congress just has to say no.
Former Reagan Administration DOJ official Bruce Fein agrees. As does Bob Barr. None of whom can remotely be called liberal partisans, as President Bush tried to cast all opposition in his petulant Cartman-channelling presser this morning.
Now is the time to contact your Representative and say that they must stand up for rule of law and say no to Presidential/telecom immunity. At some point, they really do have to stand up and say "no."
McJoan at DailyKos has a list of numbers if you want to call your Representatives to remind them who they are supposed to be representing.
UPDATE: Per Christy: And CongressNow has a bit on the potential for a "secret session" (subs. req.) that some GOP folks are pushing -- but I haven't been able to confirm anything with any leadership or other House Members or staffers on this. Also, there is a rumor that the vote may not happen now until tomorrow, but I'm also hearing much later this evening, too -- so keep those phones ringing, gang.