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Congressional Democrats Stand Up To Bush!


From Daily Kos


The Democrats in Congress showed they have a spine after all. They stood up to President George W. Bush Thursday and quietly rejected demands for passage of the Protect America Act, a bill designed to protect the president’s behind after he broke the law.


The story was covered hour-by-hour Thursday by The Daily Kos. This is how the final decision was reported:

by mcjoan

Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 02:50:37 PM PST

It happened in the midst of a lot of other nonsense by House Republicans, so the moment was hard to catch. But  the House has adjourned for the Presidents' Day weekend, effectively standing down Bush on his fear mongering and his threats.

The Protect America Act will expire on Saturday, but as Kagro notes and as every Democrat who has spoken on the issue today has noted, we're still protected.

Here's (House Speaker Nancy) Pelosi's statement (via e-mail):

“Yesterday, an overwhelming majority of House Democrats voted to extend the law for three weeks so that we would have time to reach agreements with the Senate on the FISA bill. The President and House Republicans refused to support the extension and, therefore, I think should bear the responsibility of any adverse national security consequences.  I don't think that will happen.  The President knows full well that he has all the authority he needs to protect the American people.

“The underlying FISA bill gives him much of that authority. And on top of that, the orders that he has issued under the Protect America Act extend for one year.  So the President has all of the advantage of the underlying FISA law and all of the advantage of modernization that the Protect America Act brought forth....

“Franklin Roosevelt, as you know, something that every school child in America knows, said that we have nothing to fear but fear itself. And President Bush tells the American people that he has nothing to offer but fear, and I'm afraid that his fear mongering of this bill is not constructive.”

And here's Congressman Steny Hoyer’s statement:

“Now, the president asserts that the expiration of the protect America act will pose a danger to our country. The former National Security Council advisor on terrorism says that's not true. Former assistant attorney general says that's not true. Numerous others, and the chairman, has asserted that's not true.

“Why is that not true? Because FISA will remain in effect. The authority given under the protect America act remains in effect. And if there are new targets, the FISA court has full authority to give every authority to the administration to act. So I tell my friends, we are pursuing the politics of fear. Unfounded fear.

”Four hundred thirty-five members of this house and every one of us, every one of us wants to keep America and Americans safe. Not one of us -- not one of us wants to subject America or Americans to danger. The president's assertion is wrong. I say it categorically. The president's assertion is wrong.”

The Democrats stood up to Bush, and the world didn't end. And I bet it felt really, really good. I know it did. I heard the raucous cheers on the House floor when Hoyer made that statement. Remember how good it feels, Dems, and keep at it.