House Democrats are sticking to plans to begin a one-week recess starting tomorrow without renewing a terrorist surveillance bill set to expire when their vacation begins—to the dismay of President Bush and House Republicans, the Washington Post reports. Bush, set to leave for Africa, said the decision imperils national security; House Republicans walked out of the chamber today in protest.
GOP representatives decamped when Democrats passed on the bill for a vote to issue contempt citations to current and former Bush aides. Extending immunity to telecommunications companies that collaborated with government wiretapping programs is the thorny topic; the Senate has already passed its version. But Majority Leader Steny Hoyer says the House isn't "a lap dog of the president or the United States Senate."