GOP and Feinstein join to fulfill Obama’s demand for renewed warrantless eavesdropping
H.R. 5949: FISA Amendments Act Reauthorization Act of 2012 (On Passage of the Bill) Vote and Bill for individual votes here
Tthe Senate on Friday morning passed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) by a vote of 73-23 and will send it to President Obama’s desk for signature.
No surprise is there? Feinstein makes the remark that there is not enough time to debate the bill. Typical progressive logic. Forget that the Senate has done nothing for months. Barely a ripple in the news. The Obama agenda continues without so much of many GOPer complaints. A few mild amendments were quickly dispatched with. I looked for a good recent video of the event while I still have the right to look at it. .The choices for comments were a piece from Russian news, Young Turks and Rand Paul. Paul gives us a bit of history on the matter. So here we go:
The worst of Dick Cheney while advancing Obama’s agenda.
Wyden yesterday had two amendments: one that would simply require the NSA to give a general estimate of how many Americans are having their communications intercepted under this law (information the NSA has steadfastly refused to provide), and another which would state that the NSA is barred from eavesdropping on Americans on US soil without a warrant. Merkley’s amendment would compel the public release of secret judicial rulings from the FISA court which purport to interpret the scope of the eavesdropping law on the ground that “secret law is inconsistent with democratic governance”; the Obama administration has refused to release a single such opinion even though the court, “on at least one occasion”, found that the government was violating the Fourth Amendment in how it was using the law to eavesdrop on Americans
But the Obama White House opposed all amendments, demanding a “clean” renewal of the law without any oversight or transparency reforms. Earlier this month, the GOP-led House complied by passing a reform-free version of the law’s renewal, and sent the bill Obama wanted to the Senate, where it was debated yesterday afternoon.
The Democratic Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Dianne Feinstein, took the lead in attacking Wyden, Merkley, Udall and Paul with the most foul Cheneyite accusations, and demanded renewal of the FISA law without any reforms. And then predictably, in virtually identical 37-54 votes, Feinstein and her conservative-Democratic comrades joined with virtually the entire GOP caucus (except for three Senators: Paul, Mike Lee and Dean Heller) to reject each one of the proposed amendments and thus give Obama exactly what he demanded: reform-free renewal of the law (while a few Democratic Senators have displayed genuine, sustained commitment to these issues, most Democrats who voted against FISA renewal yesterday did so symbolically and half-heartedly, knowing and not caring that they would lose as evidenced by the lack of an attempted filibuster).