Press conference on the US Capitol… US House Republicans just walked off the floor. Democrats brought up some contempt votes against former White House Counsel Harriet Miers and current White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten, instead of bringing the “Protect America Act” – which contains the critical FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) extension.
The US Senate passed the bill by a very large margin – and so, the political theatre has begun. President George Walker Bush also indicated that he may cancel his trip to Africa (leaving later today) unless the US House gets its together.
Minority Leader John Boehner, & Ranking Member on the Intelligence Committee Pete Hoekstra are leading the protest. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is leading the Democrat bandwagon against the bill – saying she needs time to consider the Bill and negotiate with the US Senate.
The sticking point is the “retro-active” immunity for telecommunications companies that provided the intelligence community with information in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks. Which, for most Americans, is pretty dumb – considering it’s all a done deal at this point. I think something else is at work… but I’m not sure what it is.