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White House may drop insistence on telecom immunity.

By Amanda Terkel  

"White House may drop insistence on telecom immunity."

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The Wall Street Journal reports:

The White House, seeking to break a months-long standoff, has signaled to Democratic lawmakers it is open to negotiation over a proposal to expand government spy powers, according to officials familiar with the conversations. [...]

Over the two-week spring recess, administration officials contacted Democratic leaders to suggest they were open to compromise on updating the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. “We definitely want to get it done,” said White House spokesman Tony Fratto. “We’ve had some initial conversations with Congress about the need to get FISA reform done quickly.” He added that Mr. Bush still prefers the Senate measure, which the White House negotiated with Senate Democrats. [...]

The White House’s more conciliatory posture reflects a recognition that the Bush administration’s leverage on national-security matters has slipped since this past summer, a top Republican congressional aide said. “There’s a recognition that if they’re actually going to get a product they can support, there’s going to have to be some new level of engagement,” the aide said.

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