UPDATE: The FISA bill mark-up has been held over on motion by a Republican committee member. (Am working on specifics on this, as information is flying at me from several sides at the moment.) Mark-up is held over until next Thursday. They are, however doing opening statements, but there is a vote scheduled for 11:30 am ET on the Senate floor, so word is that they likely won’t finish them. (H/T to Prof. Foland for the initial tip from Sen. Kennedy’s staffer.)
In the meantime, the audio feed is still not working. Selise has been on hold trying to figure out what is going on for a while, and we’ll let you know if and when we get an answer. Will have something fresh up momentarily for everyone.
The SJC FISA bill mark-up is set to begin around 10 am ET. The committee has a number of other items on their plate as well this morning, so it may be a bit before we get to the FISA discussion. As always, I’ll try to liveblog as accurately as I can. I could use your help, though: please try and keep comments to a minimum. The more I have to switch threads, the higher the possibility that I’ll miss a big chunk of the discussion for you guys. Thanks!
The photo at left is from the movie Oliver. In honor of the “Specter Compromise” which masks a convenient way for the Bush Administration and the telecoms to avoid liability without Arlen having to admit that is his purpose up front: “Please sir, I want some more.” The Leahy response in The Hill article wins a snark of the morning H/T:
Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) seemed skeptical when asked about Specter’s plan on Wednesday. “So we would have the taxpayers pay the cost of the Bush administration breaking the law? Interesting concept, I’ll look at it,” Leahy said.
Good one. I spoke this morning with a staffer at the SJC after C-Span was reporting that the FISA mark-up may be delayed. Here’s the scoop: any member may ask for a delay in the mark-up until next week, but as of yet, no member has actually asked for the delay. There have been rumblings to that effect, but nothing concrete as yet, so we’ll have to wait for the hearing to see if that occurs. Also, even if they do the FISA mark-up today, they will only be marking up Title I of the bill — they cannot get to the entire bill either way because they have a lot of other issues on their plate for today’s meeting. So, you know what I know at this point, and as soon as the hearing gets underway — so long as the audio stream holds out (H/T Selise) — I’ll update you further on proceedings.
UPDATE: While we are waiting for the feed to go live, The Seminal has a great piece on the absurdity of John Ashcroft as former AG turned telecom lobbyist writing an op-ed about the need for telecom immunity in the NYTimes. Some good stuff here.