Bush Chides House Dems for Law Expiration

Eavesdropping measure expires at midnight
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 16, 2008 2:30 PM CST
President Bush pauses as he talks about the Northern Illinois University shooting, Friday, Feb. 15, 2008, during his meeting with Republican Congressional leaders in the Oval Office of the White House...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – With a law that expands the government's power to eavesdrop due to expire at midnight, President Bush scolded Congress today for sitting idly by and allowing it to happen. Bush said Congress' failure to act could cause the US to “lose a vital lead that could prevent an attack,” the AP reports. Democrats accused Bush of "whipping up false fears."

Bush refused to sign a temporary extension of the bill, prompting Dems to blame him for the law’s expiration. “Make no mistake,” charged one Democratic senator, “if any intelligence loss results, it is President Bush's choice." Instead of renewing the bill, the House approved contempt citations against two Bush confidants—infuriating White House officials.