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Harry Reid May Punt, Extend Telecom Bill Through February

According to the Hill, Reid is considering extending the Protect America Act for one month past its sunset on February 1 in order to avoid the early primary season:

A Rockefeller aide said the senator would support the 30-day extension. But it remains unclear whether Republicans will block Reid’s efforts to extend the PAA.

“I don’t see that it benefits us to continue to delay something that we know we need to do,” said Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.), vice chairman of the Intelligence Committee.

Reid said he spoke Monday night with Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell, who agreed that extending the PAA for one month was a “good idea.”

Without extending the time for debate, some Democrats fear that the White House will warn that failure to enact the bill could increase the chances of a terrorist attack and pressure Democrats to pass a bill they oppose — the same scenario as last August.

“People are firm for the moment … but then the intimidation starts,” said Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), a staunch critic of the telecom immunity provision. “Too often Democrats allow themselves to be intimidated by phony arguments.”

The hypocricy of the Republicans shows through in the Kit Bond statement — they really don’t give a happy hooty about "national security," they just want dog biscuits from Bush and the telecoms for passing retroactive immunity.

Menwhile, the New York Times buries the story on A29. Big media just does not want to cover this.

The delay is good news for us, however, as it allows us more time to organize and get the word out. Working with Glenn Greenwald and others, we’ll be sending out action alerts to let you know what you can do to fight the battle against retroactive immunity.

Sign up here.

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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