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According to TPM.

So if I'm reading this right, it means the House is holding fast.

The proposal, the contents of which the aide described to me, does not contain a measure granting retroactive immunity to the telecoms for their participation in the warrantless surveillance program. The aide also stressed that the bill "is in the exact same ballpark" in terms of civil liberties protections as the RESTORE Act, the bill which the House passed last year. The draft as described by the aide:

-- requires an audit by the Department of Justice's inspector general of the administration warrantless wiretapping program (not in the Senate bill)

-- has a two-year sunset, as opposed to the Senate's surveillance bill, which has a six-year sunset

-- has an "exclusivity" provision, which specifies that the President cannot circumvent the bill with claimed Constitutional powers (not in the Senate bill)

-- has guidelines to prevent the NSA from tapping foreigners' communications into the U.S. when the real intention is to target a U.S. person, which is called "reverse targeting" (not in the Senate bill)

I don't know exactly what the differences between this draft and the RESTORE act are, but it seems we did get two things we wanted.  There is no telecom immunity provision in this bill.  Frankly, I'd like to give the House leadership credit in not caving as opposed to the blanket assumption I've been seeing recently that they will.  I'm holding out for hope.

Originally posted to alkatt on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 03:26 PM PST.

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