CongressDaily (sub. req.) reports today that House Intelligence Chairman Silvestre Reyes (D-TX) said that he is “fine” with “a Republican-brokered deal to rewrite the nation’s electronic surveillance laws.” The GOP compromise, written by Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO), “would leave it up to the secret FISA court to grant retroactive legal immunity” to telecoms that helped the Bush administration’s warrantless conduct surveillance on U.S. citizens. A senior Reyes aide, however, “clarified” that his boss is supportive of the House leadership’s position:
Reyes said he believes enough Democrats will support the proposal to pass it in the House.
But he said House Majority Leader Hoyer told him that House Democratic leaders want to have the liability of the telecoms reviewed in federal district court as opposed to the FISA court.
A senior Reyes aide clarified his boss’ positions by saying that while Reyes thinks Bond’s proposal is a positive one, he remains supportive of Hoyer’s efforts to improve on it.