Stalling Spy Bill Hurts Intel, Admin Asserts

Letter pushes House Dems to pass new wiretapping rules
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Feb 23, 2008 8:45 AM CST
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., left, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D- Calif., center, and Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., pause during a news conference on Capitol Hill Wednesday, Dec. 19,...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – As House Dems refuse to pass the Senate’s wiretapping bill, the administration is heaping more pressure on them to change their minds, reports Muckraker. A letter to the House intelligence committee from top administration officials claims that the failure to pass the bill is causing “lost intelligence information” as private companies fear the consequences of continued warrantless cooperation.

“Exposing the private sector to the continued risk of billion-dollar class action suits” makes them “reluctant to cooperate,” wrote the director of national intelligence and the attorney general. But House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer fired back that “any intelligence gap would be one of (the GOP’s) own creation,” since members won’t agree to retroactive immunity for wiretapping practices.