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Why Roberts changed his wiretapping stance


Sen. Pat Roberts got the attention of Washington D.C. over the weekend when [The New York Times][1] reported that he had called for the so-called "warrantless wiretapping" program to be brough under the authority of a special court.As the Times noted: "Mr. Roberts's comments were surprising because he has been a staunch defender of the program and an ally of White House efforts to resist a full-scale Senate investigation."Today's [Washington Post][2] reports that Roberts, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, found he couldn't count on the support of all the committee's Republicans in blocking a demand by Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller investigation into theprogram.Maine Republican Olympia Snowe "contacted fellow committee Republican Chuck Hagel (Neb.), who also had voiced concerns about the program. They arranged a three-way phone conversation with Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kan.)."_Until then, Roberts apparently thought he had the votes to defeat Rockefeller's motion in the committee, which Republicans control nine to seven, the sources said. But Snowe and Hagel told the chairman that if he called up the motion, they would support it, assuring its passage, the sources said.When the closed meeting began, Roberts averted a vote on Rockefeller's motion by arranging for a party-line vote to adjourn until March 7. Roberts, reacting to Hagel and Snowe's actions, told the New York Times on Friday that he now supports bringing the NSA program under FISA's jurisdiction in some manner, a stand that could put him at odds with the administration._The issue is proving divisive for Republicans. [The Associated Press][3] this morning reports that Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist says no legislation is needed to oversee the wiretapping program.Other links today:Sam Brownback links[(New York Times) Bush signals expanded NATO role in Sudan:][4] President Bush signaled a new American commitment on Friday to addressing the crisis in Darfur, saying he would support an expanded role by NATO to shore up a failing African peacekeeping mission there. ... In recent days, some members of Congress and others have begun saying they hoped NATO forces could work with the African Union troops until United Nations forces arrive. "In the interim, let's get NATO involved in this process, because every day you wait, you're going to have more people dying," Senator Sam Brownback, the Kansas Republican, said Thursday in an interview on "The Newshour With Jim Lehrer."[(Renew America commentary) Founding documents Pro-Life:][5] U.S. Senator Sam Brownback, Kansas, recently said, "Our Supreme Court's decision in Roe is certainly not the final word on the issue of abortion, just as the Court was not the final word on slavery in Dred Scott. Our system gives us the opportunity to rectify past wrongs. It is my fervent hope and prayer for America that we base our laws on what science tells us: namely, that the young human embryo is a human life. I believe that I will live to see the end of the abortion industry, and the sanctity and dignity of every human life affirmed. Until then, abortion will continue to prod the conscience of our nation. Great labors remain before us, but the rights and lives of unborn children are absolutely worth our efforts. Reagan was our first great pro-life president, and surely others will follow in his footsteps. His legacy endures and the pro-life movement continues to make steady progress. On behalf of the unborn, let us pray and persevere."Jerry Moran links[(Wichita Eagle) Moran proposes Medicare enrollment deadline extension:][6] Congressman Jerry Moran today announced a proposal that would extend the May 15 deadline to enroll in new prescription drug assistance programs by nearly seven months. "Kansas seniors are struggling greatly," he said today in Topeka. Moran, a Kansas Republican, said most Kansans who are eligible for the controversial Medicare Part D prescription-drug benefit have not yet enrolled.How to contact As always, you can find information to contact members of the Kansas congressional delegation [here.][7] [1]: http://www2.ljworld.com/blogs/kansas_congress/2006/feb/18/wiretapping/ [2]: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/19/AR2006021901031.html [3]: http://www.azdailysun.com/articles/2006/02/20/news/20060220_news_19.txt [4]: http://www.sudantribune.com/article.php3?id_article=14156 [5]: http://www.renewamerica.us/columns/thompson/060218 [6]: http://www.kansas.com/mld/kansas/13897929.htm [7]: http://ljworld.com/extra/where_to_write.html#fed


bill_priff 12 years, 2 months ago

It looks like Roberts reputation in DC is starting to make waves back here.


"What's bothering many, though, is that Roberts seems prepared to write the Bush team a series of blank checks to conduct the war on terror, even to the point of ignoring policy mistakes and possible violations of law."

No real Kansas conservative wants a White House waterboy for a Senator. It doesn't look like Roberts has the intestinal fortitude to be intelligence committee chairman. If he isn't going to do his job, then maybe he should step down and let someone else take over. Someone with a backbone.

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