Bush: Dem Effort to Extend Surveillance Law That Must Not Lapse Is Unacceptable

February 13, 2008 11:12 a.m.

Yup, here we go again. Beat that drum!

Right on cue, Bush made a statement from the Oval Office this morning to deliver a simple message to House Democrats: if they do not immediately fold and pass the Senate’s version of the surveillance bill, then they are jeopardizing “the lives of countless Americans.” Because “at this moment, somewhere in the world, terrorists are planning new attacks on our country.” House Dems want more time to negotiate the differences between the House and Senate bills, so they’ve asked for an extension to the administration’s sweeping Protect America Act, which passed in an alarmist panic back in August.

But no. That is unacceptable. The only possible course of action is to embrace the Senate bill, a “good bill”:

Unfortunately, the House has failed to pass a good bill. And now House leaders say they want still more time to reach agreement with the Senate on a final bill. They make this claim even though it is clear that the Senate bill, the bill passed last night, has significant bipartisan support in the House.

Congress has had over six months to discuss and deliberate. The time for debate is over. I will not accept any temporary extension….

The House’s failure to pass the bipartisan Senate bill would jeopardize the security of our citizens. As Director McConnell has told me, without this law, our ability to prevent new attacks will be weakened. And it will become harder for us to uncover terrorist plots. We must not allow this to happen. It is time for Congress to ensure the flow of vital intelligence is not disrupted. It is time for Congress to pass a law that provides a long-term foundation to protect our country. And they must do so immediately.

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