Sixteen Democratic Senators joined 43 Republican Senators to pass the bill sought by Bush regarding FISA surveillance. This bill will allow the United States Government to intercept certain communications between foreign suspects even if the communications are intercepted inside the United States. This bill was made necessary by a decision of one of the judges of the secret FISA-established court that issue search warrants for intercepting communications.
One of the hang-ups was that Bush wanted the Attorney General to be given the power to authorize intercepts under the new law. Not surprisingly, Democrats balked at that provision. Under the Senate-passed legislation, both the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence will have to authorize such intercepts. After 120 days, the administration would have to get a warrant to continue intercepting the communications being tracked.
What the Democrats should have done is say to Bush "We don't trust Gonzales and if you want the AG to have that kind of authority, then you need to appoint a new AG." The public would have backed that position and it would have been easy to explain to the news media. Instead 16 Dems rolled over for Bush and got nothing back from him.