Thursday, March 13, 2008

House FISA Battle Continues While Southern Border Remains Open

Southern Border Security Should be Part of FISA Bill

There's a thought-provoking article at the National Republican Congressional Committee website on the continuing FISA battle in the House.

Our position is that FISA should be passed, but that as long as the southern U.S. border is an open door, why bother?

House Republicans could make a much more convincing argument if the porous southern border was attended to at the same time.

This article does hold the House Democrats' feet to the fire on the expired terrorist surveillance program.

We present the first part of it here. You can read the rest of the article, comment on the NRCC blog and/or sign the petition to try and get FISA moving again by clicking on the link at the end of this story.

The FISA Fight Continues
By: Karen Hanretty
National Republican Congressional Committee.
Communications Director, NRCC
It was over three weeks ago that House Democrats allowed the terrorist surveillance program to expire, and in the dead of the night on February 16, 2008, every single American became less safe. To make matters worse, the following week the House of Representatives skipped town for a ten-day vacation, leaving the security of our nation in limbo.

Since then, Democrats have maneuvered through desperate stall tactics to block the Protect America Act, knowing that it would pass with overwhelming bipartisan support like the Senate bill did earlier in February, by a vote of 68-29. Every member of the Blue Dog Coalition, which consists of 21 moderate House Democrats wrote to House Speaker Pelosi and said "the consequences of not passing such a measure could place our national security at undue risk" (Bloomberg, 2/13/08).

Why do the House Democrats want to keep our intelligence community weak? The answer is quite simple - many House Democrats have received thousands of dollars in campaign contributions by the trial lawyer lobby, and Democrats are working hard to prolong their boon to trial lawyers, who are tying up the court system with frivolous lawsuits against telecommunications companies who carried out their patriotic duty to assist in terrorist surveillance in the wake of September 11th.

It is unconscionable that the House Democrat Leadership would play politics with our national security. The Protect America Act expired almost a month ago and has hindered our ability to intercept conversations between those linked to suspected terrorist networks.

How long will House Democrats continue to leave our national security at risk by failing to pass the critical terrorist surveillance program that expired weeks ago? [Read the rest of "How Long will House Democrats Leave our Nation at Risk: The FIFA Fight", then Comment on NRCC blog and/or sign the petition.

Terrorist surveillance is needed.

With an open southern border that the government seems determined NOT to close, however, some Americans would question the expanded powers of FISA. Closing the southern border should be the number one priority of every House member sponsoring FISA.

It makes no sense to grant government increased surveillance powers in the name of protecting Americans against terrorists, when terrorists can waltz across the Mexican border at will.

Surveillance of those doing the surveillance is also needed to ensure that ordinary Americans are not caught up in the increased power of government.

As long as the government doesn't go fishing or use the information collected against non-terrorist Americans, then FISA should be passed with all due speed.

And building the southern fence should be part of this bill.

by Mondoreb
image: NRCC
Source: NRCC Newsletter - Bigger, Better!.
Death by 1000 Papercuts Front Page.

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