FISA Vote Pushed Back Again

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer said Wednesday the House will not take up an electronic surveillance measure this week, further delaying any decisions on the controversial measure.

Hoyer said in his weekly press conference that he hoped to wrap up work on an update to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act; “towards the end of this week or the beginning of next week.”

However, the majority leader acknowledged that there were “still disagreements” within the Democratic caucus over the issue of granting immunity to telecom companies who aided the government in the wiretapping program.

Nearly three weeks after a temporary electronic surveillance law expired, many internal divisions remain among Democrats. Many liberal members are pushing to strip the immunity provisions, while other more moderate “Blue Dog” Democrats are hoping to take up a Senate-passed version of the bill which includes immunity as soon as possible.

Republicans have called for the House to take up the Senate bill as soon as possible.

Although Democratic leaders insist they are working feverishly to iron out their differences, one House member—speaking on the condition of anonymity—suggested it could be a long time, if ever, before the bill was brought for a vote.

“A lot of people think the politics of doing nothing on this issue are very good for both sides of the political spectrum,” they said.
  • CBSNews

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