It looks like there may finally be some movement regarding FISA legislation. While congressional Republicans have been trying to focus on other issues in the hopes of distracting the public, there has been a renewed push lately for the Senate to take up the House’s version of this bill.
Despite attempts by the White House and its congressional allies to force the passage of legislation which included immunity for telephone companies who cooperated with the Bush administration's illegal wiretapping scheme, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and her fellow Democrats held strong. Refusing to pass the Senate’s version and countering what she called “scare tactics” by White House officials, Speaker Pelosi would not budge on the issue of immunity.
Now Senate Judiciary Chair Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and House Judiciary Chair John Conyers (D-MI) have called on the American public to put pressure on the Senate to follow the House's lead in resisting pressure for immunity. In an action alert put out on Tuesday, Sen. Leahy and Rep. Conyers credited “grassroots activity” and the pervasiveness of “blog posts” for the success that House Democrats have had in resisting White House pressure. They called on the internet community to “help…make sure that our colleagues in the Senate know that the American people are watching.”
And the blogosphere has certainly responded. Progressive blog giants like DailyKos and Firedoglake have all posted entries in support of Sen. Leahy and Rep. Conyers’ call to action.
For our part, Alliance for Justice continues to applaud the courage of House leaders who are standing up to the White House and who refuse to give amnesty to phone companies for their illegal conduct. We sent a letter to the Senate opposing legislation which included immunity and have sent out several messages encouraging our supporters to contact their legislators. We also launched a campaign on our website called “Five Things You Can Do About FISA.”
We will follow these developments closely and be sure to update our readers on any new developments in the future.