FISA bill may never come to vote

Good news for politicians, bad news for American security: the FISA bill remains stalled and perhaps dead in the House. According to Politico, both Democrats and Republicans feel they can benefit from the current status quo. Democrats can suck up to their trial-lawyer contributors, Republicans can cast Democrats as more concerned with contributions than national security — and meanwhile, the bipartisan effort to protect national security remains buried:

Hoyer said in his weekly press conference that he hoped to wrap up work on an update to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act; “towards the end of this week or the beginning of next week.”

However, the majority leader acknowledged that there were “still disagreements” within the Democratic caucus over the issue of granting immunity to telecom companies who aided the government in the wiretapping program. …

Although Democratic leaders insist they are working feverishly to iron out their differences, one House member—speaking on the condition of anonymity—suggested it could be a long time, if ever, before the bill was brought for a vote.

“A lot of people think the politics of doing nothing on this issue are very good for both sides of the political spectrum,” they said.

The outlines of a deal to split the bipartisan Senate bill had come together over the weekend. That appears to have lost momentum now, and the bill may never come to a vote. That may come as news to its advocates in the Senate, who called for a quick vote once the House resumed business.

It will not come to the floor before next Monday. If it doesn’t come soon, the Democrats may try to stall it to death.