Archive for Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Congressional briefing — NSA: wiretap warrants ‘wouldn’t work’

November 29, 2006

Here are today's headlines from the Kansas congressional delegation:

Sen. Pat Roberts (R)

(Bloomberg) Democrats Seek Republican Backing to Limit Bush's Surveillance: Democrats, about to take control of Congress, say they will forge a bipartisan compromise to put limits on President George W. Bush's program of domestic eavesdropping of suspected terrorists. Democrats say they already have a starting point for a compromise, noting that bipartisan proposals this year require court warrants for eavesdropping. ... Bush's allies say it is impractical to force the NSA to seek warrants because it must act quickly to sift through a large volume of messages. ``Something like that simply would not work,'' Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, a Kansas Republican, said in an interview.

Sen. Sam Brownback (R)

(KC Star) Brownback pulls his family's money out of Sudan: Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas will put hundreds of thousands of his family's dollars where his mouth is when it comes to divestment from Sudan. Brownback, a Republican who is contemplating a 2008 presidential bid, wrote last week to 44 state governors urging them to divest from state pension funds investments in companies that do business with Sudan, whose government is sponsoring genocide in the country's Darfur region. Six other states already have done so. ... The family began divesting their holdings earlier this month, when Brownback became interested in divestment as a tool to pressure the Khartoum regime, said Brian Hart, a spokesman for Brownback. The Brownback family has at least $186,000 and possibly as much as $565,000 in 10 mutual funds whose investments include companies identified by divestment activists as doing business with the Sudanese government, his most recent personal financial disclosure statement showed.

(Bahai.us) Congress, U.N. committee condemn Iran's persecution of Baha'is: Declaring it "deplores" the persecution of Baha'is by the Iranian government, Congress passed a concurrent resolution calling for the emancipation of that country's largest religious minority. ... The resolutions decry recent and intensifying persecution of Baha'is in Iran that has included a state-sponsored anti-Baha'i media campaign; the death of a Baha'i in an Iranian prison who had been accused of apostasy; and continued harassment and detentions. Senators Harry Reid (Nevada) and Sam Brownback (Kansas) were the original sponsors of the Senate resolution. The original sponsors of the House resolution were Representatives Mark Kirk (Illinois) and Tom Lantos (California).

Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R)

(The Hill) GOP's bleak retreat into the minority: A major fight is brewing among conservatives in the House to elect the next chairman of the Republican Study Committee. Reps. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) and Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.) have been calling members of the increasingly influential committee to ask for their support in the election next Wednesday. ... Many staffers consider Tiahrt, an appropriator, as the leadership-backed candidate who would mute the influence of conservative agitators as Republicans try to unite in the minority. "It's an effort to neuter the RSC," one aide said. "It's an effort to split the powerbase." Tiahrt spokesman Chuck Knapp said his boss met with the group's three remaining founders because members asked him to run and that the Kansas Republican has not had any conversations with Boehner or his staff about chairing the RSC. ... There is grumbling that some members may leave the RSC if Tiahrt wins, creating an early divide among Republicans in the minority.

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