Bush: Congress should approve 'vital' bill

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Speaking in his radio address on Saturday, George W. Bush said that the US will lose its ability to carry out surveillance against suspected terrorists abroad as the US Congress did not approve a renewal of the law which allows the US Intelligence agencies to record phone calls without a warrant.

Mr. Bush started by saying that "At the stroke of midnight tonight, a vital intelligence law that is helping protect our nation will expire." Right from the opening of his speech, he made it clear that he believed Congress should have passed the bill. During the speech, Bush also said that he believes "Congress had the power to prevent this [the bill not being renewed] from happening, but chose not to."

In a statement, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi responded to the speech by saying that "Their [George Bush's] true concern here is not national security." They said that Bush wants "to protect the financial interests of telecommunications companies and avoid judicial scrutiny of their warrantless wiretapping program."

The address comes as George Bush leaves on his trip to Africa, with the address being pre-recorded to allow him to make the visit to Africa.

Bush concluded the speech by stating that he believes "the Senate has shown the way by approving a good, bipartisan bill," and that "the House [of Representatives] must pass that bill as soon as they return to Washington from their latest recess." He added that he believes that "at this moment, somewhere in the world, terrorists are planning a new attack on America." and that "Congress has no higher responsibility than ensuring we have the tools to stop them."