Washington, DC—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following statement today in response to President Bush and Congressional Republicans’ remarks this morning on FISA:
“For the President, this debate isn’t about protecting America; it’s about protecting the telecommunications industry and his own Administration.
“Let us be clear: Democrats stood ready to extend this law, but the President and Congressional Republicans flat-out refused. President Bush could have spent his morning signing an extension of this law instead of misrepresenting facts at a press conference.
“The President refused to extend this law because he is trying to use it for political gain and is afraid that legal scrutiny of his Administration’s actions will uncover wrongdoing.
“Fortunately, this law’s expiration does not threaten the safety of Americans. Existing surveillance orders are very broad and remain in effect for one year, and the 1978 FISA law itself remains in effect should new surveillance orders for some reason be necessary.
“The President and his allies know this. It is time for them to stop fear-mongering and start being honest with the American people about national security.”