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Dem Sen. Dick Durbin Says Democratic FISA Declassification Bill ‘Ill-Fated’ Without Obama’s Support

A bipartisan push to declassify opinions made by Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court judges responsible for overseeing programs like the National Security Agency’s communications monitoring program is not going anywhere, according to ranking Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL). “I encourage this, though I think it is going to be ill-fated,” Durbin said of the bipartisan effort. He noted that, unless President Barack Obama gets behind the push, it will be dead on arrival.

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Durbin told The Hill that the effort spearheaded by Democratic Oregon Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden to open up the FISA court process is not going anywhere.

“I just don’t see a freight train coming down the track,” in terms of getting the White House and Congress behind the Merkley-Wyden bill, Durbin said.

The proposal would require the attorney general to release the opinions made by FISA courts overseeing foreign surveillance directives. The measure has the support of Republicans like Sens. Dean Heller (R-NV) and Mike Lee (R-UT) as well as Democrats like Sens. Al Franken (D-MN), Jon Tester (D-MT) and Mark Begich (D-AK).

Durbin says that he has reached out to the White House for their support, but confided that he thinks “they are going to eventually turn us down.”

Read the report via The Hill

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