House Democrats Fail… Take Early Vacation as Terrorist Surveillance Bill Expires
Bush told reporters that the House Leaders have made it harder for government to protect the American people:
…Democrats say he is just fear mongering.
Democrats failed to pass the Protect America Act that will expire at midnight tonight!
Instead they took a 12 day vacation.
President Bush urged the House Democrats to pass the PAA yesterday– But, they did not listen and instead went on vacation.
Andrew McCarthy reported at National Review Online on how the Democrat’s inaction will put America at risk:
According to top Democrats, the expiration of the Protect America Act (PAA) when the clock strikes midnight is no big deal. Our ability to monitor foreign threats to national security, they assure us, will be completely unaffected.
This is about as dumb a talking point as one can imagine. And it is just as demonstrably false.
Think for a moment about Tuesday’s crucial Senate bill overhauling our intelligence law that Speaker Nancy Pelosi refused to allow the House to consider before recessing Friday — for a vacation. (Democrats evidently had no time for national security, having exhausted themselves on such cosmic matters as a baseball pitcher’s alleged steroid use and unenforceable, unconstitutional contempt citations in a stale investigation into something that wasn’t a crime and that no one but MoveOn.org cares about any longer).
In a Senate controlled by the Democrats, the bill passed by an overwhelming 2-to-1 margin. To attract such numbers, the Bush administration (as I detailed yesterday) gave ground on critically important issues of executive power and expansion of the FISA court’s role.
Democrats surely did not want to give President Bush this legislative victory, and President Bush certainly did not want to cave on these issues. But both sides compromised precisely because they understood that failing to do so, failing to preserve current surveillance authority, would endanger the United States.
Now, maybe they did it because they didn’t want to be blamed if something catastrophic happened; I prefer to think it was because they felt it their obligation to prevent something catastrophic from happening. But either way, the certainty that a failure to act would mean an exorbitant increase in the odds of catastrophe clearly weighed on both sides.
Michelle Malkin is watching the clock tick down to midnight.
Some congressional leaders claim that this will not affect our security. They are wrong. Because Congress failed to act, it will be harder for our government to keep you safe from terrorist attack. At midnight, the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence will be stripped of their power to authorize new surveillance against terrorist threats abroad. This means that as terrorists change their tactics to avoid our surveillance, we may not have the tools we need to continue tracking them — and we may lose a vital lead that could prevent an attack on America.