Competing NSA Reform Bills Suddenly Lurch Forward In Congress

from the well-this-might-get-interesting dept

In a bit of a surprise move, the House Judiciary Committee, led by Rep. Bob Goodlatte, caught people off guard this morning by announcing that there would be a markup of the USA FREEDOM Act on Wednesday, complete with a Manager’s Amendment from bill author Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner. If you don’t recall, the USA FREEDOM Act was the best bet for real NSA reforms. It was far from perfect, but did actually do a lot of good things without adding a bunch of bad things. The amended version scales that back a bit. It’s not as good, but it’s still pretty good. Harley Geiger, over at CDT has a good overview of the Manager’s Amendment, and how it actually improves the bill in certain areas, while Marcy Wheeler highlights both the good and bad of the amendment.

Of course, within just a few minutes of the Judiciary Committee announcing its plans to move forward with the USA FREEDOM Act, the House Intelligence Committee announced that it would hold its own damn markup on the competing “NSA reform” bill from Reps. Mike Rogers and Dutch Ruppersberger, which is designed to look like a shot at NSA reform, but which really would make it easier for the NSA to collect info on people. That bill, called the FISA Transparency and Modernization Act (almost none of that is true), is basically the NSA’s prime choice for pretending to be reform.

This sets up a bit of an upcoming fight — assuming that both markups lead to bills getting voted out of committee — to see which bill House Speaker John Boehner is willing to bring to the floor. Basically, Boehner gets to make the final decision on NSA reform at this stage. Will he bring the real reform bill or the fake one?

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Comments on “Competing NSA Reform Bills Suddenly Lurch Forward In Congress”

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The Wanderer (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“Modern” is rooted in a now-obscure sense of the word “mode”, as in “pie a la mode” (pie with ice cream), which originally meant “pie served in the way which is currently fashionable”. Hence, “modern” is semantically related to “fashionable”, much as “mode” is similar in meaning to “fashion”.

The only way to be “more current” than “modern” is to be ahead of the fashionability / popularity curve. The “postmodern” movement is oxymoronic, and the only things “after the modern era” are in the future.

AricTheRed says:

If you can't uphold your oath, just Fake It! (When Harry Met Sally style)

I suspect the American People are tired of Mike Rogers and Dutch Ruppersberger “Faking It” I know I am.

I wonder if they “Fake It” at home also and if their wives are tired of it too or if they just fake it better there?

That One Guy (profile) says:

Action, re-action

Pretty obvious how it happened, as long as congress and the senate only threaten to ‘reign in’ the NSA(and, let’s be honest, that’s all they’ve done so far and are likely to do in the future without some hefty pushing from the public), the ‘bill’ to protect the NSA wasn’t needed.

As soon as the bill went ‘live’ though, then the decoy was deployed, in the hopes that enough politicians will fall for it and/or not want to go against the NSA while at the same time wanting to look like they’re ‘doing something’, drawing attention, and votes, away from the real fix.

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