Jeff Flake hits a home run on wire taps, etc.
- Cthies@... writes:
In the House Judiciary Cmte, Jeff Flake came up with an amendment that hits the nail on the head on wire taps, etc.
His amendment says that the President has inherent authority in intelligence, etc., under the Constitution, and that the Congress has the power to regulate these matters, reference Article 1, Section 8, "to make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces."
Joining with him were Representative Hofstettler of Indiana (the only Republican in the House to join with Ron Paul is voting against the authorization of the use of force in Iraq), and Representative Tom Feeney of Florida (another one of the good guys in Congress who was in the Florida state legislature when the Congress voted on the use of force in Iraq), as well as several Democrats.
Notice that Jeff recognizes both the authority (even the obligation) of the President to protect this country, but that this power is not unchecked (or checked only by the blunt instrument of cutting off funding).
Temporarily opposing him was Representative Don Lungren of California, a more or less unalloyed conservative. He dismissed the Section 8 authority of the Congress to regulate, and said that Congress could only check the President via the power of the purse. This, I think, is (or was) the administration's view (or one of the administration's views).
It was at this point that Tom Feeney spoke up and pointed out that the amendment affirmed both executive and congressional authorities, and basically allayed the conservatives on the Republican side of the aisle.
At that point, there was no longer opposition to the amendment, and it passed unanimously on a voice vote.
It made me very pround to be a libertarian-Republican to see that, even during a time of war, a few of us could be persuasive, and could appeal to the best concerns of both liberals and conservatives. I don't think it would have been possible for just one of us to have accomplished what Jeff accomplished, but with three libertarian voices, it was possible.