Friday, October 5

Hoyer Helps Republicans

From the Open Left

ACLU that a new and bad FISA bill is about to be unveiled today at 1:30pm by Steny Hoyer in a press-only briefing. Telecom immunity is not in the bill, but the Senate is pressing hard for that to be included.

The dynamic in the House is really odd. Hoyer and Emanuel seem to be pushing for a FISA capitulation to 'protect the freshmen', even though the freshmen understand their constituents don't want a FISA capitulation. No one will go on the record on any of this, and Emanuel and Hoyer aren't voting for the capitulation, only orchestrating its passage.

This is not a surprise, though it is amusing that Pelosi's promises to 'fix' the temporary FISA bill passed in August are as worthless as they appeared at the time.
What's weird is that no one wants this capitulation except Hoyer and Emanuel. The Bush Dogs are going to vote for it, since that's what they would do, but they would vote for a better bill. The freshmen don't feel politically threatened by a better bill, and know that standing up to Bush is popular. It's like the House is operating on conservative autopilot.

The progressive caucus is unified against the bill. If there's a way to beat this back, it's through the freshmen. I hope they start speaking out against it.
UPDATE: I should say that I don't have the specifics of the bill, which will be unveiled tomorrow. But it's telling the ACLU and civil liberties experts were cut out of the process.

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