Saturday, August 04, 2007

Spy bill passes in Senate

See? The Republicans aren't obstructionists, they got this bill passed in the Senate and 17 Democrats joined them:

The vote commenced on the McConnell-Bond measure shortly after 9PM, to be followed by the vote on the Rockefeller version. For either bill to pass on to the House, it required a 60 vote margin. What made this vote dramatic was that there were several Senators from both sides of the aisle who had already left town for previous commitments, making it even that much harder to achieve the 60 vote hurdle. Due to a lot of successful lobbying going on the floor while the vote was taking place, seventeen Democrats joined the remaining Republicans to pass the measure, 60-28. What won’t get reported very widely is that during the waning moments of the vote, McConnell, Bond and Republican leadership were franticly doing the math, realizing they only had 58 ayes, and somehow convinced Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu and Hawaii Senator Daniel Inouye that they really didn’t want to have to hang around until Monday and still be required to vote on this all over again. Both changed their vote giving McConnell, Bush, and the country the 60 votes they needed to close the loophole in the FISA law.
Now it's up to Pelosi:
So what are Pelosi’s options? She could bring up the bill as is, with no amendments, and call for a vote. Considering the number of Democrats in the Senate who helped it pass, it's almost certain to pass the House. But if Pelosi plays games with this, or if one comma is changed in the House version, the bill would have to go to a conference committee, which can’t now happen anytime soon because the Senate has recessed. They’ve done their job. Pelosi has to pass the bill as is. We hope she sees this and does what’s better for the country than satisfying her ACLU base.