To protect Americans or not to protect Americans… that is the question. And Democrats have answered “not to protect American” in favor of scoring cheap political points.
Writing to President Bush regarding vital reforms to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), House Intelligence Committee Chair Silvestre Reyes (D-Tex.) noted that the Preamble to our Constitution states that one of the highest duties of public officials is to “provide for the common defense.” Reyes goes on to claim that he works “everyday to ensure that our defense and intelligence capabilities remain strong” and demands that the House be given more time to debate the telecommunication company protections passed by an overwhelming bipartisan margin in the Senate. Reyes fails to mention that the House has had 194 days to debate this issue since temporary FISA reforms were passed last August and he does not explain why House demands for another 21-day extension will be any different than the 15-day extension the White House agreed to on Feb. 1.
Instead of actually debating this issue yesterday, the House instead chose to vote on contempt citations for White House chief of staff Josh Bolten and former counsel Harriet Miers. This choice of how to use their precious time perfectly underscores the real priorities of the House leadership: scoring cheap political points against the White House is more important than settling real policy debates that affect our national security.