Wednesday :: Mar 12, 2008

If The People Lead

by Turkana

Perhaps Congressional Democratic leaders are beginning to notice that the American people are tired of their appeasing the Bush Administration. Perhaps they noticed that Donna Edwards defeated capitulating Democratic Congressman Al Wynn. Perhaps they noticed that Democrat Bill Foster just won Denny Hastert's deep red Congressional district. Perhaps the people are leading and the leaders are following.

The Hill reported:

The House on Monday filed a civil lawsuit against former White House counsel Harriet Miers and White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten in an effort to get them to comply with a congressional subpoena to testify about the firings of nine U.S. attorneys.

“The House is taking action today to uphold the rule of law and to protect our constitutional system of checks and balances,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). “Congress, on behalf of the American people, is clearly entitled to the information that is being sought — it involves the politicization of the Justice Department and law enforcement, not national security information nor communications with the president.”

The filing of the suit is the latest step in a fight between Congress and the White House, which is asserting executive privilege to prevent Miers and Bolten from testifying.

Republicans rejected the lawsuit.

And the New York Times had this:

In continued defiance of the White House, House Democratic leaders are readying a proposal that would reject giving legal protection to the phone companies that helped in the National Security Agency’s program of wiretapping without warrants after the Sept. 11 attacks, Congressional officials said Monday.

Instead of blanket immunity, the tentative proposal would give the federal courts special authorization to hear classified evidence and decide whether the phone companies should be held liable. House Democrats have been working out the details of their proposal in the last few days, officials said, and expect to take it to the House floor for a vote on Thursday.

The Democrats’ proposal would fall far short of what the White House has been seeking.

President Bush has been insisting for months that Congress give retroactive immunity to the phone companies, calling it a vital matter of national security. The Senate gave him what he wanted in a vote last month that also broadened the government’s eavesdropping powers.

But House Democratic leaders have balked at the idea.

Today, Democrats on the Judiciary Committee put out a statement explaining their opposition to telecom immunity.

It's not perfect, but it's a huge step in the right direction. Democrats. In Congress. Stepping up. Confronting Bush. There is hope.

Turkana :: 4:39 PM :: Comments (12) :: Digg It!