I am hearing that the FISA bill’s path in the House and Senate this week is as follows:

— Monday: The reconciled House bill (between the two versions passed out of the Judiciary and Intel committees) will be submitted. (H.R. 3773) There are likely to be amendments from both Conyers and Reyes, I am hearing, but I haven’t gotten my hands on copies of the text of any of them as yet.

— Tuesday: The House Rules Committee: floor consideration rules of the bill will be discussed and likely set.

— Wednesday: I’m hearing this from the ACLU — “Floor vote on H.R. 3773 and any amendments permitted a vote. Plus there will be a full House vote on a “Motion to Recommit,” which is a motion made at the discretion of the Minority party in the House. The content of the MTR is uncertain but likely to be to make the PAA permanent and grant retroactive immunity/pardons for warrantless surveillance of Americans.” Their sources on vote timing on this have been pretty good, but I’m not getting independent confirmation on this with House leadership sources as yet. Will update if and when I do get some.

Thursday: Senate Select Committee on Intelligence will likely report a bill out of committee in closed session. This is the bill that we are hearing may have retroactive immunity provisions for the telecom companies. I am told, again by a source at the ACLU, that they are hearing the following: “After that vote, the bill will be referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee, under Senate rules that permit the SJC to consider intelligence-related bills within its joint jurisdiction for up to 30 days or the bill will be automatically ripe for consideration by the full Senate after that 30-day period is up.”

I hear from several Senate sources that several members on the SJC think this is both important and necessary for the same reason that Rep. Conyers and members of the HJC wanted to go over the bill.

I am hearing a lot of buzz that both Bond and Hatch — who are in the intel committee and, in Hatch’s case, also the SJC, are pushing the “we’re including telecom immunity” meme to the press pretty hard. I’ve heard this from three different sources in the last few days.

Also, the GOP is pinning its hopes on something utterly trumped up and ridiculous. KagroX details the ins and outs on this, and the ACLU has even more on the blatant falsehoods being fronted out by the GOP, but let me just say the following: (1) FISA should not apply to foreign calls — everyone agrees on this — and so the blaming of FISA is disingenous, at best. (2) As Kagro rightly points out, the problem in getting the warrants in this case was with the Bush Administration’s staffers in the NSA and the DOJ, not with the FISA court.  If they can’t do their jobs, then that is their fault, not the fault of the law or the courts.  Period.

Talking points for phone calls, courtesy of the ACLU:

1. Only pass a FISA modernization bill that has individualized warrants for people in the United States.

2. DO NOT to provide telecom companies with immunity for breaking the law.

3. Blanket or program “warrants” that allow the government to vacuum up the international telephone calls and emails of Americans aren’t really warrants at all, and they aren’t constitutional.

Do make some calls on FISA today as well. You can find direct dial numbers for all Senators here, along with direct links to all of their web pages. The members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, which is primarily responsible for this bill, are as follows:

*Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Chairman —   (202) 224-6472      FAX: (202) 224-7665
*Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) — (202) 224-3841      FAX: (202) 228-3954
*Sen. John Warner (R-VA) — (202) 224-2023      FAX: 202) 224-6295
*Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) — (202) 224-5244      FAX: N/A
*Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) — (202) 224-4224      FAX: (202) 224-5213
*Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) — (202) 224-5623      FAX: (202) 228-1377
*Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) — (202) 224-4654      FAX: N/A
*Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) — (202) 224-5344      FAX: (202) 224-1946
*Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) — (202) 224-5274      FAX: 202-228-2183

Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) — (202) 224-3154      FAX: (202) 228-2981
Sen. Kitt Bond (R-MO), Vice-Chairman — (202) 224-5721      FAX: N/A
Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) — (202) 224-3521      FAX: 202-224-0103
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) — (202) 224-5251      FAX: (202) 224-6331
Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) — (202) 224-5323      FAX: (202) 224-2725
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) — (202) 224-2921 FAX: 202-228-6362

The bolded Senators are the ones that need concentrated calls — the ones which are not highlighted are already on the right track or, unfortunately, likely hopeless on this issue. If Feingold or Whitehouse are your Senators, do take a little time to call and give them some thanks for standing up for the Constitution and the rule of law, but the bolded names need the most push in the next few days. Might as well make the calls count as much as possible. You can reach them toll free as well thanks to these numbers that katymine found:

1 (800) 828 – 0498
1 (800) 459 – 1887
1 (800) 614 – 2803
1 (866) 340 – 9281
1 (866) 338 – 1015
1 (877) 851 – 6437

Also, the Senate Judiciary Committee membership and contact information is as follows:

Arlen Specter – Pennsylvania – (202) 224-4254      Fax (202) 228-1229
Orrin G. Hatch – Utah – (202) 224-5251      Fax (202) 224-6331
Patrick J. Leahy (Chairman) – Vermont – (202) 224-4242      Fax (202) 224-3479
Charles E. Grassley – Iowa – (202) 224-3744      Fax (515) 288-5097
Edward M. Kennedy – Massachusetts – (202) 224-4543      Fax (202) 224-2417
Jon Kyl – Arizona – (202) 224-4521      Fax (202) 224-2207
Herbert Kohl – Wisconsin – (202) 224-5653      Fax (202) 224-9787
Jeff Sessions – Alabama – (202) 224-4124      Fax (202) 224-3149
Dianne Feinstein – California – (202) 224-3841      Fax (202) 228-3954
Lindsey Graham – South Carolina – (202) 224-5972      Fax (864) 250-4322
Russell D. Feingold – Wisconsin – (202) 224-5323      Fax (202) 224-2725
John Cornyn – Texas – (202) 224-2934      Fax (972) 239-2110
Charles E. Schumer – New York – (202) 224-6542      Fax (202) 228-3027
Sam Brownback – Kansas – (202) 224-6521      Fax (202) 228-1265
Richard J. Durbin – Illinois – (202) 224-2152      Fax (202) 228-0400
Tom Coburn – Oklahoma – (202) 224-5754      Fax (202) 224-6008
Benjamin Cardin — (202) 224-4524      Fax — 202-224-1651
Sheldon Whitehouse — (202) 224-2921      FAX — 202-228-6362

PS – Also, please keep those calls and FAXes going on SCHIP as well. The more contact they have from constituents who care about these issues, the more we let them know that we are not ready to back down. Thanks everyone for all the effort today and every day!

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com