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Don’t let the Dems kill the John Doe amendment Update: House Dems kill John Doe amendment…fight moves to the Senate Update: 8:55pm Senate Dems kill John Doe amendment…roll added

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By Michelle Malkin  •  July 19, 2007 06:59 PM

7/20 1:25pm update. Video of Rep. Pete King ripping the Dems over their opposition to the John Doe amendment.

7/20 9:30am update. Read Debra Burlingame: “We disarm ourselves when we succumb to political correctness – which encourages us to second guess our common sense and look the other way. It is an outrage that Pelosi and Reid would allow individuals to be punished when they come forward to protect us all.”

If you see something, say something:

Congress switchboard: 202-224-3121
Nancy Pelosi’s office: 202-225-4965
Reid’s office: 202-224-3542

7/20 7:40am update: Andrew McCarthy assails the Death Wish Caucus–the cowardly, reckless, feckless Democrats who want John Doe citizen whistleblowers to shut up or be sued.

ifyousee.jpg

Photoshop via Justin Higgins at Right on the Right

9:20pm Eastern update. Here’s the roll on the Senate John Doe protection amendment, which missed the 60-vote threshold by 3 votes. Interesting facts: No Republican voted against it. GOP presidential candidate Sam “Switchback” Brownback didn’t bother to vote. Hillary voted for it. Obama sat it out:

rolljohndoe.jpg

Reader S.M. looks at some of the at-risk ’08 Dems who voted for the bill (Hillary, Baucus, Landrieu) versus the supposed “maverick” freshmen (who don’t face re-election until 2012) who voted no (Webb, Tester, McCaskill, etc.): “Transparent politics. Kill the measure, but do it in a way that protects the vulnerable incumbents from attack ads.”

Yep.

8:55pm Eastern update. Well, the Senate Dems have spoken. Susan Collins got a vote, but it just failed. Audrey Hudson’s latest update: “The measure failed in a late-night 57-39 vote after some last minute arm-twisting by Democrats, three votes shy of the required (super majority) 60 votes because it was not directly related (germane) to the underlying educational funding bill.”

Bottom line: The Dems believe that if you see something, you should just shut up.

This fight is not over. There still is a final conference report to be hashed out. Keep your phones lit. The Senate Dems need to hear from you.

Stand by for the roll on Collins’ John Doe protection amendment, SA 2340…

6:58 pm Eastern update and bumped. Audrey Hudson reports the Dems have successfully stripped out the John Doe amendment:

Congressional Democrats today failed to include a provision in homeland security legislation that would protect the public from being sued for reporting suspicious behavior that may lead to a terrorist attack, according to House Republican leaders.

“This is a slap in the face of good citizens who do their patriotic duty and come forward, and it caves in to radical Islamists,” said Rep. Peter T. King, New York Republican and ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee.

Who is responsible? Bryan Preston observes:

[The Dems] scuttled this amendment in committee in a way that makes them difficult to track down individually. That’s sneaky but it’s how Washington often works. Rep. Bennie Thompson is the most likely culprit, but it’s unlikely that he’s flying solo here.

The fight’s not over, as Audrey Hudson notes:

While the conference is not likely to meet again, Mr. King noted the conference report has not been written and says he will continue discussions with Sen. Joe Lieberman, Connecticut independent and chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, to insert the “John Doe” language.

Sen. Susan Collins, Maine Republican and ranking member of the committee, announced afterward she will attempt to attach a similar bill to an education measure currently under debate on the Senate floor.

Keep calling Nancy Pelosi’s office to protest.

And start hounding your Senators.

Congress switchboard: 202-224-3121
Nancy Pelosi’s office: 202-225-4965

Who is John Doe? I am John Doe. You are John Doe:

2:56pm Eastern update. Audrey Hudson reports…

A Senate Republican aide says they scored one victory when the chamber’s parliamentarian ruled this morning that the “John Doe” protections are within the scope of the legislation and can be included by amendment.

“Combine that with the public outcry and Democrats may be forced to cave,” the aide said.

However, Democrats plan to limit the number of amendments to only three or four and there is no word yet on which amendments will be allowed.

Keep the pressure on.

***

Andy McCarthy and Audrey Hudson report that Democrats are attempting to water down the “John Doe” amendment–the legislation sponsored by Rep. Peter King that would protect citizen whistleblowers who act to protect our national security and who are threatened by lawsuits from CAIR and their grievance-mongering ilk. Time is short. You need to make your voice heard in Congress now.

Hudson writes:

Democrats are trying to pull a provision from a homeland security bill that will protect the public from being sued for reporting suspicious behavior that may lead to a terrorist attack, according to House Republican leadership aides.

The legislation, which moves to a House and Senate conference committee this afternoon, will implement final recommendations from the 911 Commission.

Rep. Pete King, New York Republican and ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee, and Rep. Steve Pearce, New Mexico Republican, sponsored the bill after a group of Muslim imams filed a lawsuit against U.S. Airways and unknown or “John Doe” passengers after they were removed for suspicious behavior aboard Flight 300 from Minneapolis to Phoenix on Nov. 20 before their removal.

“Democrats are trying to find any technical excuse to keep immunity out of the language of the bill to protect citizens, who in good faith, report suspicious activity to police or law enforcement,” Mr. King said in an interview last night.

“This is a slap in the face of good citizens who do their patriotic duty and come forward, and it caves in to radical Islamists,” Mr. King said.

“I don’t see how you can have a homeland security bill without protecting people who come forward to report suspicious activity,” Mr. King said.

McCarthy sums up why this is so critical: “As Pete King’s office notes, in a post-9/11 reality, passenger vigilance is essential to our security. Given the variety of threats we face and terrorists’ history of targeting mass transit systems, encouraging passengers to report strange behavior to authorities is really just common sense. Failing to report suspicious behavior could end up costing thousands of lives — and while the “flying imams” don’t seem to understand this, the American people do. We must make certain that brave citizens who stand up and say something are given the protections they deserve. The King amendment does exactly that, and Democrats musn’t be allowed to strip it from the 9/11 conference report on a technicality.”

Republicans aides will put up a fight when the conference committee begins at 1 p.m., to reinsert the language, but the public needs to weigh in. We are always told to be vigilant. To “say something” when we “see something.” I see Democrats carrying water for CAIR and endangering national security.

Say something!

Congress switchboard: 202-224-3121
Nancy Pelosi’s office: 202-225-4965

***

Frank Gaffney e-mails:

Fresh from their all-night effort to force surrender on the U.S. military in Iraq, some Democrats on Capitol Hill appear intent on using the dark-of-night (figuratively, if not literally) to another, grievous misdeed: Trying to eliminate one of the most important anti-terror provisions adopted by Congress since 9/11. This legislation is the so-called “King amendment,” which is designed to ensure that public-spirited citizens are not discouraged, let alone penalized, for doing their civic duty by informing the authorities of activities that could be associated with terrorism.

As the brilliant former counterterrorism prosecutor and legal analyst Andy McCarthy observes in a posting on National Review Online today, the King amendment’s opponents in the congressional leadership understand that the overwhelming, bipartisan support for this legislation in the House and Senate leave them few options.

In fact, as a practical matter, the only way they could dispose of a provision which was initiated by the ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rep. Pete King of New York, after the insidious Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) brought suit against several “John Does” and adopted by the House of Representatives by a vote of 304-121 would be to snuff it in a conference committee. Word on the Hill is that it could be attempted TODAY.

Such a gambit should be made more difficult by the inclusion of similar language in the Senate version of what has come to be called the “9/11 Bill,” thanks to strong support in that chamber from, among others, Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and his ranking minority member, Susan Collins of Maine. Still, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her lieutenants are reportedly hoping to use a technicality – the fact that the King amendment was to a railroad security bill rather than the 9/11 bill – to strip it from the conference report. By so doing, the minority of the House that voted against the King amendment and that is made up of most radical left-wing members of their caucus would have the last word, to the delight of their Islamist friends at CAIR.

Making such a point of order would, of course mean that a similar objection could be registered to every other aspect of the railroad legislation – which includes a number of provisions near-and-dear to the hearts of Democrats, as well as Republicans on the conference committee. Unless, that is, no one is paying attention and the dastardly deed can be accomplished behind closed doors and out of the glare the public’s eye.

Thanks to Andy McCarthy for raising the alarm. Every one of us who understands the indispensable role alert private citizens can – and must – play in protecting the American people from future terrorist attacks should immediately contact Speaker Pelosi’s office (202-225-4965), their own congressional representatives and their favorite talk radio show hosts and bloggers. The message should be clear: Enact the King amendment – because our lives, literally, depend upon it.

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