PELOSI REFUSES TO MOVE ON
Pelosi is holding it up largely to appease far-left groups like MoveOn.org, which have made the bill that features retroactive civil immunity to telecommunications companies who cooperated with federal law enforcement and intelligence investigations a must win for this election cycle.
"MoveOn and those groups are already running ads around the country against conservative Democrats and weakened Republican candidates on the FISA issue," says a House Democratic staffer, who works for a Democrat who would be inclined to support the bill if it were given a vote. "I don't think people understand the pressure we're under."
Passage of the FISA bill is considered imperative before the August recess, because some ongoing FISA court orders will otherwise expire, and thus leave law enforcement and intelligence agencies with limited options for monitoring suspected and known terrorists overseas.
"Democrats are essentially playing politics with the security of the American people, gambling that they will be distracted by the election and not care about this," says one Republican House leadership staffer. "We have to let the people know about the potential risks involved simply because Speaker Pelosi wants to keep the radical left of her party -- largely Obama supporters -- happy."