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I’ve been poking around and reading procedural rules on this FISA bill.  As near as I can tell because this is a conference report, it can’t be amended.  It is sent to the floor of both Houses for an up or down vote.  It can, apparently be filibustered in the Senate, but it cannot be changed.

Opponents need 41 votes to avoid cloture, and a lot of reading material.  It’s time to see if a leader arises, but I’m not holding my breath.


1 Jim Bales { 06.24.08 at 10:31 pm }


Thank you for the intel on the bill. There may be a ray of hope.

Senator Reid just informed his colleagues on the Senate floor that, because of all the other bills in the queue (like the housing bill, and the Iraq supplemental), FISA may not get a vote until after the July 4 holiday recess.

This is honestly the best we can hope for right now. Sens. Dodd, Wyden and Feingold are ready to filibuster and gamely trying to get colleagues to do the same (Sen. Dodd’s speech tonight was a bravura performance), but realistically the numbers to stop cloture aren’t there. However, that could change if the delay continues. And getting this to the recess means being able to get in a lot of Senators’ faces on their trips back home. In addition, there’s going to be a very short window in August where a ton of must-pass bills have to get through Congress, and throwing FISA in with that mess means that anything can happen.

If anyone has not been telling their Senators, Sen. Reid, and Sen. Obama that this bill must be stopped, now is the time to do so. You don’t have to like any of these people, but we all need them to feel the heat for even considering letting this abomination pass.

2 Bryan { 06.24.08 at 11:12 pm }

There are only three ways of affecting these people:

1. Make sure they know you are unhappy;

2. Make sure they know that means no money from you;

3. Don’t vote for them, if they won’t vote for you.

The only thing they apparently understand is money and votes. Those are the non-violent “weapons” available.

3 Kryten42 { 06.24.08 at 11:44 pm }

Sadly Bryan, you are correct about that!

Well… I suppose theres the old Mafia warning of a horses head on the bed when they wake up in the morning. 😉 LOL

Not that I’m at all advocating that! I happen to like horses a lot! You could use a skunk though… Might be more appropriate anyway! LOL

4 Bryan { 06.25.08 at 12:13 am }

That would be covered under item 1., but even skunks don’t deserve close contact with politicians.

5 Mustang Bobby { 06.25.08 at 8:52 am }

Thanks for the clarification, Bryan, and I have since updated my post on this. Glenn Greenwald links to a speech by Chris Dodd on the floor of the Senate that he describes as an impassioned speech against the bill and the Bush administration’s spying tactics in general.

6 Bryan { 06.25.08 at 10:23 am }

They are playing games, MB, trying to deflect criticism, but it isn’t going to work.

7 Story of the Day { 06.25.08 at 2:20 pm }

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