Update on FISA: Obama, Harry Reid, Calls to Hoyer

Here’s a quick update. There was a vote today on the floor in favor of cloture on the FISA bill 80-15, which means there will be 30 hours of debate on FISA. A lot is happening so please post about it in the comment section. Obama has fallen on the wrong side of the debate. It doesn’t look good.

“The bill has changed. So I don’t think the security threats have changed, I think the security threats are similar. My view on FISA has always been that the issue of the phone companies per se is not one that overrides the security interests of the American people.”

Schumer has come out against FISA. Reid is obviously juggling a few bills at once and that is coming into play. This is from a rough transcript of a statement he gave on the Senate Floor yesterday announcing his opposition to the FISA bill:

Reid: I am not going to vote for the FISA bill. There are people, Mr. President, who have worked on this FISA matter for three months or more and again the Administration worked with them. Did they, on the FISA bill, move enough to make me vote for the bill? The answer is no.

Reid is joining Dodd and Feingold on their efforts to strip out immunity from the bill.

Blue America has placed some robo calls to Steny Hoyer’s house on Telecom Immunity.

On Friday we told you about ads going up in the Washington Post that hold Steny Hoyer accountable for brokering this horrible bill, paid for by these donations. Today Color of Change and Blue America have robocalls going out to Hoyer’s constituents, recorded by Reverend Lennox Yearwood who is from the district.

Emptywheel brings up some good points.

As you look at Reid’s comments, remember that Reid is dealing with all three of these playing pieces, not just the one we’re most focused on, FISA. And to the average American, the other two pieces are way more important than the FISA piece. As well-versed as I’ve become in FISA, frankly, I can’t imagine telling my neighbors facing foreclosure that defeating immunity is more important than them keeping their house.

I’m just making an outtamyarse guess, but I’m guessing that Reid’s delay comment last night may be tailored to get action on the housing bill, by holding the two things the Administration wants–FISA and the supplemental–hostage until a hold-out Republican and Bush agree to the housing compromise…read on


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