Effort to renew FISA bill fizzles.

jim bell jdb10987 at yahoo.com
Sat May 30 01:17:19 PDT 2020


This COULD be excellent news.  Partial quote follows:


05/28/2020 09:42 AM EDT

Updated: 05/28/2020 03:49 PM EDT
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House Democrats have pulled a bill to reauthorize parts of the federal surveillance program known as FISA, a setback for Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s legislative machine that followed a veto threat from President Donald Trump.

Pelosi announced Thursday that she would seek negotiations with Senate Republicans, a move that sends both parties back to the drafting table to resolve differences — which appeared to be minimal until Trump's threat sent Republicans dropping their support en masse.


House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell both supported the decision to begin formal negotiations between the chambers, with a McConnell spokesperson calling it "regular order." Democrats had initially resisted because it could slow down the process of passing a bill. The reversal, a rarity for Pelosi, leaves behind a political mess for both parties, with limited options unless Trump, again, changes course.

Speaking to reporters Thursday, the California Democrat blasted Republicans — at the urging of Trump — for “abandoning their commitment" to national security.

"This has always been bipartisan," Pelosi said at a press conference. "All of the sudden, [Republican] commitment to national security disappeared by a tweet, the twinkle of a tweet."

By Thursday afternoon, the House overwhelmingly voted to go to conference with the Senate. Lawmakers also agreed on who should represent the chamber in the negotiations: Democratic Reps. Jerry Nadler (N.Y.), Adam Schiff (Calif.) and Zoe Lofgren (Calif.) and GOP Reps. Jim Jordan (Ohio) and Devin Nunes (Calif.).

Negotiations between the House and Senate on the FISA bill are expected to begin quickly, though it’s unclear how long before a final bill is ready.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) announced Thursday afternoon that the chamber would not return to Washington next week. Lawmakers would receive 72-hours notice before they will need to vote, Hoyer said.

The House had been expected to easily approve the FISA bill this week, with an unusual alliance of Republicans and Democrats who carried a similar version across the floor in March. The Senate passed the measure with than 80 votes in favor, including 45 Republicans. But that fragile coalition collapsed this week as Trump suddenly intervened, issuing a veto threat that seemed to contradict his own administration’s efforts to renew the law.

[end of partial quote]

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