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Bush to Congress: Not So Fast

Prez calls on vacation-bound lawmakers to pass reform of eavesdropping law
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 3, 2007 3:40 PM CDT
Bush to Congress: Not So Fast
President Bush, seated, signs the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007, Friday, Aug. 3, 2007, in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington. Standing behind the president, from left to are, Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – Congress shouldn't go on vacation until it approves reforms to the current laws on government eavesdropping, President Bush said today. Lawmakers are working on a bill that would update the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act so that the US could spy on terror suspects overseas more effectively without impinging on Americans' privacy rights, but a deal remains distant.

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"Time is short," said Bush, who blamed the impasse on Democratic leaders. He has the constitutional authority to call Congress back into session after declaration of a recess, but a spokeswoman said that wasn't on the table: "We cannot imagine that Congress would leave without fixing the problem." Said Chuck Schumer: "I think we're going to be here for a while." (Read more Democratic Congress stories.)

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