National security at risk while Dems play games, says GOP lawmaker
Jim Brown - OneNewsNow - 1/30/2008 1:00:00 PM

A Republican senator says it's "ridiculous" that the Senate has yet to renew a law governing how U.S. intelligence agencies carry out electronic surveillance.

On Monday, Senate Democrats blocked final debate on a bill updating the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA -- a law that allows monitoring of communications involving foreign terrorists. The current version of FISA expires Friday; however, President Bush wants the bill to permanently extend the conditions for spying on suspected terrorists. Bush also wants to provide immunity to telecommunications companies that allowed their systems to be used for wiretapping. The bill has been on and off the Senate floor for a year.

Senator Jim Bunning (R-Kentucky) argues there is nothing new or controversial in the bill, and dismisses Democrats' claims that the legislation infringes on civil liberties. "I want to secure the United States from terrorism, and one of the ways we can do it is knowing what the terrorists are planning and what they are talking about," says Bunning. "And that's what this foreign surveillance bill allows us to do."

Bunning doubts the bill will be approved by the end of the week, and he expects only a short-term extension of FISA will be passed. He admits he is disturbed that Democrats are willing to put national security at risk while playing political games.

President Bush has vowed to veto a mere one-month extension, while Senator Harry Reid (D-Nevada) calls that threat "shamefully irresponsible." ... x?id=65901