From the Department of I’ll Believe It When the Ink Is Dry
In continued defiance of the White House, House Democratic leaders are readying a proposal that would reject giving legal protection to the phone companies that helped in the National Security Agency’s program of wiretapping without warrants after the Sept. 11 attacks, Congressional officials said Monday.
Instead of blanket immunity, the tentative proposal would give the federal courts special authorization to hear classified evidence and decide whether the phone companies should be held liable. House Democrats have been working out the details of their proposal in the last few days, officials said, and expect to take it to the House floor for a vote on Thursday.
The Democrats’ proposal would fall far short of what the White House has been seeking.
President Bush has been insisting for months that Congress give retroactive immunity to the phone companies, calling it a vital matter of national security. The Senate gave him what he wanted in a vote last month that also broadened the government’s eavesdropping powers.
[Click to read more House Steers Its Own Path on Wiretaps – New York Times]
Poor lil Bushy, Congress is actually questioning his orders.
Really, though, isn’t this how a Democracy is supposed to work? The Senate is somewhat distant from the will of the people, and thus able to wrangle compromises with the interest groups that fund their lavish junkets. The Congress occasionally listens to the opinion of the electorate who vote for them every two years. Bush isn’t supposed to always get his way either, no matter how many times he petulantly stamps his feet and screams, “Nine Eleven! Nine Eleven! Nine Eleven! Nine Eleven! Nine Eleven!”