from reuters: The Democratic-led U.S. Senate, amid warnings of further attacks on the United States, approved a bill on Friday that would allow President George W. Bush to maintain his controversial domestic spying program.
On a vote of 60-28, the Senate sent the measure to the Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives for consideration as early as Saturday as lawmakers push to begin a month-long recess.
Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell said earlier he needed the legislation “in order to protect the nation from attacks that are being planned today to inflict mass casualties on the United States.”
democrats scrambling to expand eavesdropping
from nytimes: Under pressure from President Bush, Democratic leaders in Congress are scrambling to pass legislation this week to expand the government’s electronic wiretapping powers.
Democratic leaders have expressed a new willingness to work with the White House to amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to make it easier for the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on some purely foreign telephone calls and e-mail. Such a step now requires court approval.
It would be the first change in the law since the Bush administration’s program of wiretapping without warrants became public in December 2005.