Thursday, March 13, 2008

FISA Recap For Today

It looks like they'll be having the vote tomorrow. Earlier today, CNet wrote:

Update at 2:44 p.m. PDT: There's a new twist in the FISA schedule. Upon request from Republican Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) has agreed to convene a rare "secret" session, in which politicians meet behind closed doors on the House floor to debate the bill. (Republican leaders apparently requested the procedural move because they believe there are elements of the proposal that shouldn't be discussed in public.) A Hoyer aide said the hour-long session will likely begin around 8:30 p.m. EDT. As of press time, no final decision had been made on whether the bill vote will occur after the Thursday night meeting or on Friday.

Democrats plan last-minute FISA vote

Jane Hamsher added a couple hours later:

Per a Democratic aide:

I think Republicans are the dog that caught the car. They thought we would say no, and now they don't know what to do.

Kucinich wants to know what they're going to talk about in the secret session. Hoyer: "I can't tell you that because I don't know."

Kucinich says he will not be attending a secret session on principle.

Um, to say that Dave Obey doesn't think much of the value of a secret session would be something of an understatement.

FISA House Session on CSPAN — Open Thread

According to Politico, this is only the fifth secret session in the history of the House. It's not particularly apparent why they want a secret session, or why it's worth so much trouble:

"Mr. Blunt stated that members in the Minority believe they have information relevant to the debate on FISA that cannot be publicly discussed," Hoyer said. "The majority agreed to Mr. Blunt’s request so that the Members may hear this information in a secret session that will proceed for one hour."

A closed session would require at least three hours for security personnel to sweep the chamber for listening devices.

House to go into rare closed session

Considering the Bush Administration's record on secrecy, I wouldn't trust anything I heard in such a session, and apparently Kucinich doesn't, either.

I've checked the roll call list and there's no mention of the bill. So it looks like we go to sleep no more screwed than we were this morning.

If you haven't called or e-mailed your representative, please do so Friday morning.

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