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NRCC's Cole puts more pressure on House Democrats over FISA than the White House.

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White House Not Tough Enough on FISA

NRCC’s Cole puts more pressure on House Democrats over FISA than the White House.

After breakfast on Monday with National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Cole (R.-Okla) and the gaggle (early morning press briefing) with White House Press Secretary Dana Perino Tuesday morning, I couldn’t help but reach one conclusion: when it comes to what Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats are doing with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), Cole is a lot clearer in his response than is Perino in hers.

In taking after Pelosi and Company on key issues, Cole repeatedly underscored the fact that “they are fighting us on FISA.” House Democrats bottling up a Senate version of the legislation that includes retroactive immunity for telecom companies that assist in surveillance (the measure passed the Senate resoundingly, by a vote of 68-to-29), Cole said, “has more to do with trial lawyers than national security.” He explained that few, if any, telecom companies would assist in surveillance if they did not receive retroactive immunity and thus be saved from lawsuits spearheaded by among the largest of Democratic contributors, the trial lawyers.

The following morning, when I asked Perino if she agreed with Cole’s assessment, the President’s top spokesman told me she “was not ascribing that motivation” but that it would “not help the intelligence community.” She went on to say that failure to pass the measure that includes retroactive immunity could “line the funds of trial lawyers.” 

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John Gizzi has come to be known as â??the man who knows everyone in Washingtonâ? and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on whatâ??s going on in the nationâ??s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as â??Gizzi on Politicsâ? and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of â??Gizziâ??s America,â? video interviews that appear on HumanEvents.com. Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. Johnâ??s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com

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