It looks as though House Democrats are going to head into the President’s Day recess without acting on FISA, meaning that the Protect America Act will expire in a few days.
Most Democrats were happy to pass an extension of PAA, which allows the federal government to spy on foreign-to-foreign communications routed through the United States without a warrant, but the White House insisted it would veto the bill if it didn’t include retroactive immunity for telecom companies that have helped the Bush Administration spy on Americans. (Chris Dodd recently lost this fight in the Senate.)
The House leadership (which is getting ballsier and ballsier) decided to risk the political attacks Republican will surely launch about leaving America unprotected instead of caving and passing a bad bill that helps undermine the Constitution. Kudos to them!
More info here.