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Pat Roberts (R-KS) stepping up

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  • Ram Lau
    http://nytimes.com/2006/02/18/politics/18nsa.html Senate Chairman Splits With Bush on Spy Program By SHERYL GAY STOLBERG WASHINGTON, Feb. 17 — The chairman
    Message 1 of 4 , Feb 18, 2006
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      http://nytimes.com/2006/02/18/politics/18nsa.html
      Senate Chairman Splits With Bush on Spy Program
      By SHERYL GAY STOLBERG

      WASHINGTON, Feb. 17 — The chairman of the Senate Intelligence
      Committee said Friday that he wanted the Bush administration's
      domestic eavesdropping program brought under the authority of a
      special intelligence court, a move President Bush has argued is not
      necessary.

      The chairman, Senator Pat Roberts, Republican of Kansas, said he had
      some concerns that the court could not issue warrants quickly enough
      to keep up with the needs of the eavesdropping program. But he said he
      would like to see those details worked out.

      Mr. Roberts also said he did not believe that exempting the program
      from the purview of the court created by the Foreign Intelligence
      Surveillance Act "would be met with much support" on Capitol Hill. Yet
      that is exactly the approach the Bush administration is pursuing.

      "I think it should come before the FISA court, but I don't know how it
      works," Mr. Roberts said. "You don't want to have a situation where
      you have capability that doesn't work well with the FISA court, in
      terms of speed and agility and hot pursuit. So we have to solve that
      problem."

      Mr. Roberts spoke in an interview a day after announcing that the
      White House, in a turnabout, had agreed to open discussions about
      changing surveillance law. By Friday, with Mr. Roberts apparently
      stung by accusations that he had caved to White House pressure not to
      investigate the eavesdropping without warrants, it appeared the talks
      could put the White House and Congress on a collision course.

      White House officials favor a proposal offered by another Republican
      senator, Mike DeWine of Ohio, whose bill would exempt the
      eavesdropping from the intelligence court. Mr. DeWine wants small
      subcommittees to oversee the wiretapping, but Mr. Roberts said he
      would like the full House and Senate Intelligence Committees to have
      regular briefings.

      "I think it's the function and the oversight responsibility of the
      committee," he said, adding, "That might sound strange coming from me."

      Mr. Roberts's comments were surprising because he has been a staunch
      defender of the program and an ally of White House efforts to resist a
      full-scale Senate investigation. On Thursday, he pushed back a
      committee vote on a Democratic push to conduct an inquiry, saying he
      wanted to give the White House time to negotiate on possible
      legislation. On Friday, he dismissed accusations that he had bowed to
      pressure.

      "The irony of this is that it is portrayed now as administration
      pressure brought to bear on us, meaning the Republicans on the
      committee and basically me," Mr. Roberts said Friday. "It's just the
      reverse. It's the Republicans on the committee, my staff and myself,
      who have been really — I don't want to say pressuring, but trying to
      come up with a reasonable compromise that will settle this issue. It
      was our activity that brought them along to this point, plus the
      possibility of an investigation."

      The eavesdropping, authorized in secret by President Bush soon after
      the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has allowed the National Security
      Agency to monitor the international telephone and e-mail
      communications of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people within the
      United States — without warrants — when the authorities suspect they
      have links to terrorists.

      Democrats and a growing number of Republicans say the program appears
      to violate the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Some
      Republicans are also skeptical of the Bush administration's assertion
      that it has the inherent constitutional authority to conduct the
      eavesdropping, and that Congress authorized the program when it passed
      a resolution after Sept. 11 giving Mr. Bush authority to use military
      force to defend the nation.

      In the House, Republicans on the Intelligence Committee have agreed to
      open an inquiry prompted by the surveillance program and are debating
      how broad it should be. Mr. Roberts said he had not spoken to
      Representative Peter Hoekstra, the Michigan Republican who is chairman
      of the House Intelligence Committee, about what the House panel is doing.

      Representative Heather A. Wilson, Republican of New Mexico and
      chairwoman of the House Intelligence subcommittee that oversees the
      National Security Agency, has pressed for a broad investigation, but
      Mr. Hoekstra's aides have said that any inquiry would be limited to an
      examination of the FISA law.

      The Senate intelligence chairman, Mr. Roberts, said he believed the
      administration had the constitutional authority for the program, but
      added, "We would be much more in concert with the Congress and
      everybody else and the FISA court judges" if the court oversaw the
      program.

      As panel chairman, Mr. Roberts holds great sway. An aide to the
      senator said he had some specific ideas that he had been privately
      discussing with committee members and other lawmakers. But neither the
      senator nor the aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of
      the delicate nature of the negotiations, would make those ideas public.

      Nor will Mr. Roberts have final say over what form legislation will
      take; rather, his ideas are circulating in an environment that one
      Congressional aide, referring to the Winter Olympic Games, said was
      "sort of like snowboardcross, with four proposals shooting out of the
      gate, jockeying for position."

      Another senior Senate Republican, Arlen Specter, the chairman of the
      Judiciary Committee, has proposed legislation that would allow the
      FISA court to pass judgment on the program's constitutionality. And
      Senator Olympia J. Snowe, Republican of Maine and a member of the
      intelligence panel, said Friday that she believed the eavesdropping
      must come under the purview of the judiciary.

      "I think we do have to have judicial review," she said, adding,
      "Whether it's the FISA approach or not I think remains in question,
      but it can't go on in perpetuity, and it can't be unfettered
      warrantless surveillance."

      Whether Republicans can agree remains to be seen. "People are all over
      the place," Mr. DeWine said. "We don't have a consensus."

      The White House has been in talks with Mr. DeWine, who said Harriet E.
      Miers, the White House counsel, called him on Wednesday night, on the
      eve of the Senate Intelligence panel's scheduled vote, to discuss his
      legislation.

      "What we have talked about with some Congressional leaders is
      codifying into law what his authority already is," Scott McClellan,
      the White House spokesman said in an interview Friday, referring to
      the president. He added, "Senator DeWine has some good ideas, and we
      think they're reasonable ideas."

      Since the program's inception, the White House has provided
      information about it to members of the "Gang of Eight," the Democratic
      and Republican leaders of the House and Senate, and the senior
      Democrat and Republican on the intelligence panels in both chambers.
      Last week, the Bush administration went further, revealing details of
      the program to all members of the House and Senate intelligence panels.

      Mr. DeWine said his proposal called for an intelligence subcommittee
      with "professional staff" to have oversight. "It would be
      fundamentally different than doing it by the Gang of Eight, where
      there's really no staff," he said, adding, "The key is oversight."

      Elisabeth Bumiller contributed reporting for this article.
    • THOMAS JOHNSON
      Here s a question to consider.. I was born in 1952, and although I don t remember anything about the Congress in the 50s, my guess is that it was the only time
      Message 2 of 4 , Feb 18, 2006
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        Here's a question to consider.. I was born in 1952,
        and although I don't remember anything about the
        Congress in the 50s, my guess is that it was the only
        time in my lifetime that Congress has rivaled the
        current one in terms of lack of statesmanship,
        partisan brinkmanship, allegiance to moneyed
        interests, and lack of true patriotism. It seems
        likely to me that this current group of Senators would
        have impeached Clinton. What do you guys think?

        Tom



        --- Ram Lau <ramlau@...> wrote:

        > http://nytimes.com/2006/02/18/politics/18nsa.html
        > Senate Chairman Splits With Bush on Spy Program
        > By SHERYL GAY STOLBERG
        >
        > WASHINGTON, Feb. 17 — The chairman of the Senate
        > Intelligence
        > Committee said Friday that he wanted the Bush
        > administration's
        > domestic eavesdropping program brought under the
        > authority of a
        > special intelligence court, a move President Bush
        > has argued is not
        > necessary.
        >
        > The chairman, Senator Pat Roberts, Republican of
        > Kansas, said he had
        > some concerns that the court could not issue
        > warrants quickly enough
        > to keep up with the needs of the eavesdropping
        > program. But he said he
        > would like to see those details worked out.
        >
        > Mr. Roberts also said he did not believe that
        > exempting the program
        > from the purview of the court created by the Foreign
        > Intelligence
        > Surveillance Act "would be met with much support" on
        > Capitol Hill. Yet
        > that is exactly the approach the Bush administration
        > is pursuing.
        >
        > "I think it should come before the FISA court, but I
        > don't know how it
        > works," Mr. Roberts said. "You don't want to have a
        > situation where
        > you have capability that doesn't work well with the
        > FISA court, in
        > terms of speed and agility and hot pursuit. So we
        > have to solve that
        > problem."
        >
        > Mr. Roberts spoke in an interview a day after
        > announcing that the
        > White House, in a turnabout, had agreed to open
        > discussions about
        > changing surveillance law. By Friday, with Mr.
        > Roberts apparently
        > stung by accusations that he had caved to White
        > House pressure not to
        > investigate the eavesdropping without warrants, it
        > appeared the talks
        > could put the White House and Congress on a
        > collision course.
        >
        > White House officials favor a proposal offered by
        > another Republican
        > senator, Mike DeWine of Ohio, whose bill would
        > exempt the
        > eavesdropping from the intelligence court. Mr.
        > DeWine wants small
        > subcommittees to oversee the wiretapping, but Mr.
        > Roberts said he
        > would like the full House and Senate Intelligence
        > Committees to have
        > regular briefings.
        >
        > "I think it's the function and the oversight
        > responsibility of the
        > committee," he said, adding, "That might sound
        > strange coming from me."
        >
        > Mr. Roberts's comments were surprising because he
        > has been a staunch
        > defender of the program and an ally of White House
        > efforts to resist a
        > full-scale Senate investigation. On Thursday, he
        > pushed back a
        > committee vote on a Democratic push to conduct an
        > inquiry, saying he
        > wanted to give the White House time to negotiate on
        > possible
        > legislation. On Friday, he dismissed accusations
        > that he had bowed to
        > pressure.
        >
        > "The irony of this is that it is portrayed now as
        > administration
        > pressure brought to bear on us, meaning the
        > Republicans on the
        > committee and basically me," Mr. Roberts said
        > Friday. "It's just the
        > reverse. It's the Republicans on the committee, my
        > staff and myself,
        > who have been really — I don't want to say
        > pressuring, but trying to
        > come up with a reasonable compromise that will
        > settle this issue. It
        > was our activity that brought them along to this
        > point, plus the
        > possibility of an investigation."
        >
        > The eavesdropping, authorized in secret by President
        > Bush soon after
        > the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has allowed the
        > National Security
        > Agency to monitor the international telephone and
        > e-mail
        > communications of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of
        > people within the
        > United States — without warrants — when the
        > authorities suspect they
        > have links to terrorists.
        >
        > Democrats and a growing number of Republicans say
        > the program appears
        > to violate the 1978 Foreign Intelligence
        > Surveillance Act. Some
        > Republicans are also skeptical of the Bush
        > administration's assertion
        > that it has the inherent constitutional authority to
        > conduct the
        > eavesdropping, and that Congress authorized the
        > program when it passed
        > a resolution after Sept. 11 giving Mr. Bush
        > authority to use military
        > force to defend the nation.
        >
        > In the House, Republicans on the Intelligence
        > Committee have agreed to
        > open an inquiry prompted by the surveillance program
        > and are debating
        > how broad it should be. Mr. Roberts said he had not
        > spoken to
        > Representative Peter Hoekstra, the Michigan
        > Republican who is chairman
        > of the House Intelligence Committee, about what the
        > House panel is doing.
        >
        > Representative Heather A. Wilson, Republican of New
        > Mexico and
        > chairwoman of the House Intelligence subcommittee
        > that oversees the
        > National Security Agency, has pressed for a broad
        > investigation, but
        > Mr. Hoekstra's aides have said that any inquiry
        > would be limited to an
        > examination of the FISA law.
        >
        > The Senate intelligence chairman, Mr. Roberts, said
        > he believed the
        > administration had the constitutional authority for
        > the program, but
        > added, "We would be much more in concert with the
        > Congress and
        > everybody else and the FISA court judges" if the
        > court oversaw the
        > program.
        >
        > As panel chairman, Mr. Roberts holds great sway. An
        > aide to the
        > senator said he had some specific ideas that he had
        > been privately
        > discussing with committee members and other
        > lawmakers. But neither the
        > senator nor the aide, who spoke on condition of
        > anonymity because of
        > the delicate nature of the negotiations, would make
        > those ideas public.
        >
        > Nor will Mr. Roberts have final say over what form
        > legislation will
        > take; rather, his ideas are circulating in an
        > environment that one
        > Congressional aide, referring to the Winter Olympic
        > Games, said was
        > "sort of like snowboardcross, with four proposals
        > shooting out of the
        > gate, jockeying for position."
        >
        > Another senior Senate Republican, Arlen Specter, the
        > chairman of the
        > Judiciary Committee, has proposed legislation that
        > would allow the
        > FISA court to pass judgment on the program's
        > constitutionality. And
        > Senator Olympia J. Snowe, Republican of Maine and a
        > member of the
        > intelligence panel, said Friday that she believed
        > the eavesdropping
        > must come under the purview of the judiciary.
        >
        > "I think we do have to have judicial review," she
        > said, adding,
        > "Whether it's the FISA approach or not I think
        > remains in question,
        > but it can't go on in perpetuity, and it can't be
        > unfettered
        > warrantless surveillance."
        >
        > Whether Republicans can agree remains to be seen.
        > "People are all over
        >
        === message truncated ===
      • Ram Lau
        ... http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=106&session=1&vote=00018 Question: Guilty or Not Guilty (Art II,
        Message 3 of 4 , Feb 18, 2006
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          > likely to me that this current group of Senators would
          > have impeached Clinton. What do you guys think?

          http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=106&session=1&vote=00018
          Question: Guilty or Not Guilty (Art II, Articles of Impeachment v.
          President W. J. Clinton )
          Measure Title: A resolution impeaching William Jefferson Clinton,
          President of the United States, for high crimes and misdemeanors.

          GUILTY ---50
          Abraham (R-MI)
          Allard (R-CO)
          Ashcroft (R-MO)
          Bennett (R-UT)
          Bond (R-MO)
          Brownback (R-KS)
          Bunning (R-KY)
          Burns (R-MT)
          Campbell (R-CO)
          Cochran (R-MS)
          Coverdell (R-GA)
          Craig (R-ID)
          Crapo (R-ID)
          DeWine (R-OH)
          Domenici (R-NM)
          Enzi (R-WY)
          Fitzgerald (R-IL)
          Frist (R-TN)
          Gorton (R-WA)
          Gramm (R-TX)
          Grams (R-MN)
          Grassley (R-IA)
          Gregg (R-NH)
          Hagel (R-NE)
          Hatch (R-UT)
          Helms (R-NC)
          Hutchinson (R-AR)
          Hutchison (R-TX)
          Inhofe (R-OK)
          Kyl (R-AZ)
          Lott (R-MS)
          Lugar (R-IN)
          Mack (R-FL)
          McCain (R-AZ)
          McConnell (R-KY)
          Murkowski (R-AK)
          Nickles (R-OK)
          Roberts (R-KS)
          Roth (R-DE)
          Santorum (R-PA)
          Sessions (R-AL)
          Shelby (R-AL)
          Smith (R-NH)
          Smith (R-OR)
          Stevens (R-AK)
          Thomas (R-WY)
          Thompson (R-TN)
          Thurmond (R-SC)
          Voinovich (R-OH)
          Warner (R-VA)

          NOT GUILTY ---50
          Akaka (D-HI)
          Baucus (D-MT)
          Bayh (D-IN)
          Biden (D-DE)
          Bingaman (D-NM)
          Boxer (D-CA)
          Breaux (D-LA)
          Bryan (D-NV)
          Byrd (D-WV)
          Chafee, J. (R-RI)
          Cleland (D-GA)
          Collins (R-ME)
          Conrad (D-ND)
          Daschle (D-SD)
          Dodd (D-CT)
          Dorgan (D-ND)
          Durbin (D-IL)
          Edwards (D-NC)
          Feingold (D-WI)
          Feinstein (D-CA)
          Graham (D-FL)
          Harkin (D-IA)
          Hollings (D-SC)
          Inouye (D-HI)
          Jeffords (R-VT)
          Johnson (D-SD)
          Kennedy (D-MA)
          Kerrey (D-NE)
          Kerry (D-MA)
          Kohl (D-WI)
          Landrieu (D-LA)
          Lautenberg (D-NJ)
          Leahy (D-VT)
          Levin (D-MI)
          Lieberman (D-CT)
          Lincoln (D-AR)
          Mikulski (D-MD)
          Moynihan (D-NY)
          Murray (D-WA)
          Reed (D-RI)
          Reid (D-NV)
          Robb (D-VA)
          Rockefeller (D-WV)
          Sarbanes (D-MD)
          Schumer (D-NY)
          Snowe (R-ME)
          Specter (R-PA)
          Torricelli (D-NJ)
          Wellstone (D-MN)
          Wyden (D-OR)
        • THOMAS JOHNSON
          Thanks, Ram.. I d forgotten how that shook out. Hats off to Snowe, Specter, Jeffords, Collins, and Chafee for not towing the party line. All the dissenters are
          Message 4 of 4 , Feb 19, 2006
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            Thanks, Ram.. I'd forgotten how that shook out. Hats
            off to Snowe, Specter, Jeffords, Collins, and Chafee
            for not towing the party line. All the dissenters are
            still there so Cheney would probably break the tie.
            I'd like to think that since Clinton's poll numbers
            went up during the hearings, that at least Ashcroft
            was impacted in his 2000 re-election loss to a dead
            man.

            Tom



            --- Ram Lau <ramlau@...> wrote:

            > > likely to me that this current group of Senators
            > would
            > > have impeached Clinton. What do you guys think?
            >
            >
            http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=106&session=1&vote=00018
            > Question: Guilty or Not Guilty (Art II, Articles of
            > Impeachment v.
            > President W. J. Clinton )
            > Measure Title: A resolution impeaching William
            > Jefferson Clinton,
            > President of the United States, for high crimes and
            > misdemeanors.
            >
            > GUILTY ---50
            > Abraham (R-MI)
            > Allard (R-CO)
            > Ashcroft (R-MO)
            > Bennett (R-UT)
            > Bond (R-MO)
            > Brownback (R-KS)
            > Bunning (R-KY)
            > Burns (R-MT)
            > Campbell (R-CO)
            > Cochran (R-MS)
            > Coverdell (R-GA)
            > Craig (R-ID)
            > Crapo (R-ID)
            > DeWine (R-OH)
            > Domenici (R-NM)
            > Enzi (R-WY)
            > Fitzgerald (R-IL)
            > Frist (R-TN)
            > Gorton (R-WA)
            > Gramm (R-TX)
            > Grams (R-MN)
            > Grassley (R-IA)
            > Gregg (R-NH)
            > Hagel (R-NE)
            > Hatch (R-UT)
            > Helms (R-NC)
            > Hutchinson (R-AR)
            > Hutchison (R-TX)
            > Inhofe (R-OK)
            > Kyl (R-AZ)
            > Lott (R-MS)
            > Lugar (R-IN)
            > Mack (R-FL)
            > McCain (R-AZ)
            > McConnell (R-KY)
            > Murkowski (R-AK)
            > Nickles (R-OK)
            > Roberts (R-KS)
            > Roth (R-DE)
            > Santorum (R-PA)
            > Sessions (R-AL)
            > Shelby (R-AL)
            > Smith (R-NH)
            > Smith (R-OR)
            > Stevens (R-AK)
            > Thomas (R-WY)
            > Thompson (R-TN)
            > Thurmond (R-SC)
            > Voinovich (R-OH)
            > Warner (R-VA)
            >
            > NOT GUILTY ---50
            > Akaka (D-HI)
            > Baucus (D-MT)
            > Bayh (D-IN)
            > Biden (D-DE)
            > Bingaman (D-NM)
            > Boxer (D-CA)
            > Breaux (D-LA)
            > Bryan (D-NV)
            > Byrd (D-WV)
            > Chafee, J. (R-RI)
            > Cleland (D-GA)
            > Collins (R-ME)
            > Conrad (D-ND)
            > Daschle (D-SD)
            > Dodd (D-CT)
            > Dorgan (D-ND)
            > Durbin (D-IL)
            > Edwards (D-NC)
            > Feingold (D-WI)
            > Feinstein (D-CA)
            > Graham (D-FL)
            > Harkin (D-IA)
            > Hollings (D-SC)
            > Inouye (D-HI)
            > Jeffords (R-VT)
            > Johnson (D-SD)
            > Kennedy (D-MA)
            > Kerrey (D-NE)
            > Kerry (D-MA)
            > Kohl (D-WI)
            > Landrieu (D-LA)
            > Lautenberg (D-NJ)
            > Leahy (D-VT)
            > Levin (D-MI)
            > Lieberman (D-CT)
            > Lincoln (D-AR)
            > Mikulski (D-MD)
            > Moynihan (D-NY)
            > Murray (D-WA)
            > Reed (D-RI)
            > Reid (D-NV)
            > Robb (D-VA)
            > Rockefeller (D-WV)
            > Sarbanes (D-MD)
            > Schumer (D-NY)
            > Snowe (R-ME)
            > Specter (R-PA)
            > Torricelli (D-NJ)
            > Wellstone (D-MN)
            > Wyden (D-OR)
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