On the Senate floor today, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) offered a 30-day extension to the Protect America Act, the administration’s surveillance bill that expired two weeks ago.
Given that the President and Republicans have been making speeches and running ads claiming that the nation is at risk because Democrats let the law lapse, you might say it’s a reasonable proposition. Just yesterday, the President said that it’s “important” for the American people to “understand that no renewal of the … the Protect America Act is dangerous for the security of the country.”
As Reid put it on the Senate floor this morning:
As we move forward [with negotiations between the Senate and House surveillance bills], there is no reason not to extend the Protect America Act to ensure that there are no gaps in our intelligence gathering capabilities. Even Admiral McConnell, the Director of national Intelligence, has testified that such an extension would be valuable. But the President threatens to veto an extension, and our Republican colleagues continue, inexplicably, to oppose it.
But no. When Reid offered the measure as a unanimous consent measure, the Republicans objected.
It’s no mystery why. The Republicans and the administration want all the political pressure they can bring to bear on Dems who oppose retroactive immunity.