I thought that Congress should have taken this up a couple of weeks ago. As soon as they came back from their August recess. The good news is lawmakers didn't wait until next year. If the law goes until next year without renewal expect that it becomes a political football. FISA needs to be fixed. There has to be a way to fix the law so that we can spy on those folks that need spying but still protect the American people. Congress should NOT grant immunity to those who have broken the law.
Personally, I've been arguing since the disgraceful August FISA gift to the Bush White House that the chances were far greater that Democrats, before the six-month sunset provision elapsed, would actually pass an even worse FISA bill -- one that gave the President all the warrantless surveillance powers they gave him before plus what he wants most: retroactive amnesty for lawbreaking -- rather than adhering to their promise to "fix" what they did. So it is quite possible that Congressional Democrats will do here what they have been doing all year long, ever since they were pointlessly given control of Congress -- namely, meekly (and/or eagerly) give George Bush everything he demands.
Keith Olbermann tackles this subject last night.
I'm not sure why the Democrats are so wimpy on FISA. Why can't they explain what the deal is to the American people. Instead, I think that they want to pretend to be tough and roll over the president. Then when we get a new president, they will try and reverse those powers. That's crazy, in my opinion. There is no guarantee that the Dems will take the White House. Furthermore, what will the president do with expanded powers. It appears that there is no limit to what the claims are presidential powers. I'm waiting for him to yell off with his head and point to Harry Reid.