Bush Urges Congress to Pass Surveillance Bill

Threat growing as House holds up bill over immunity for telecoms, prez charges
By Erin Mendell,  Newser User
Posted Feb 28, 2008 9:29 AM CST

President Bush urged Congress this morning to pass an update to the terrorist surveillance bill that expired more than a week ago, CNN reports. Bush said the delay poses "a risk of opening a gap in our intelligence gathering." The bill stalled in the House over a provision granting immunity for telecommunications companies that might have turned over phone records illegally.

The Senate passed a bill with an immunity provision, but the House recessed without breaking the impasse. Bush called the provision protection from “abusive lawsuits.” Touting a reduction in violence in Baghdad, the president also said opponents who had accused him of not acknowledging Iraq setbacks are not acknowledging successes. On the economy, he said the country is not in recession but a "slowdown." (More foreclosures stories.)

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