The administration's campaign to gin up alarm
over the lapse of the Protect America Act having failed
, Republicans first signaled a willingness to sit down with Democrats earlier this month
Of course, the administration still wants its retroactive immunity for the telecoms that participated in the warrantless wiretapping program and the House Dems still refuse to grant that. So it's unclear what sort of compromise might emerge. But the talks have begun. From The Politico
Congressional staffers from both parties met with administration officials Monday to discuss controversial electronic surveillance legislation, an aide to House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.)confirmed, offering a ray of hope for the long-stalled bill....
Behind the scenes, Hoyer has emerged as a deal maker on the issue over the past several weeks, working as the go-between for liberal House Democrats unwilling to accept immunity and Senate Republicans who would block any bill that does not protect the telecoms from prosecution....
One House GOP aide said Hoyer is trying to get a proposal by the end of the week.
"He has August on his mind," said the GOP aide. "He knows it is the real do-or-die time for this."
Several of the authorizations governing ongoing surveillance programs are set to expire in August, which could force congressional action.