Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Rockefeller Staffer: "We Expect There Will Be Hearings Within the Next 2 Weeks"

As of 4:31 pm Eastern, Wednesday, Feb. 15. This runs counter to what I'm reading elsewhere, but she also said they're getting lots of calls and very busy, so who knows -- maybe we do make a difference? Keep the calls coming!! See post below.

Update: Twenty minutes to go. See post below for contact info; press Snowe and Hagel, the two possible swing Republicans who could make such a thing happen. And after 5 pm ET, swing by Atrios and read Sen. Byrd's stirring speech. I could almost forgive him his vote on Alito. Almost.

Update 5:15 pm ET: Spoke with same staffer and asked for confirmation that NSA surveillance hearings aren't going to fall between the cracks, as WaPo and others are reporting. She reiterated they're "doing everything we can to see that doesn't happen" and that they expect hearings within two weeks. Staffers with detailed knowledge of where things stand procedurally are in an intel briefing right now, but she promised to call me back tonight if possible and give details. Stay tuned.

Update 6:00 pm ET: The Rockefeller staffer called me back apologetically to say she wasn't able to reach any of the Intel staffers who know the details I'm seeking. She did say (1) Senate Intel Committee chair Pat Roberts promised last week that there would be hearings, (2) she hasn't heard anything to contradict that even notwithstanding the WaPo piece, and (3) Sen. Rockefeller appears to still be full speed ahead on the issue. I wish her statement about "hearings within two weeks" was based on something more recent, but at least the buzz in Rockefeller's office isn't negative, as I would expect it to be if they had been outmaneuvered over the weekend. The best I can say at this point is that she promised to call me back as soon as she learned anything more. I'll keep you posted.

I also have a message in to my Senator, Ron Wyden's, press secretary. (Hey, I said I ran a blog for Democratic activists, and they transferred me there!) I'm not holding my breath for a callback but will of course report anything I learn there.

Meanwhile, thank you to everyone who called today, and who either posted or emailed updates to me on where Senators stood.


Anonymous said...

Yes, but remember, Rockefeller was going to spearhead the Iraq War Intel part II. hearings.......and what has happened?

Please understand, I'm not just bitching, I have been burning up the Senate phone lines today, but I am just not optimistic about this bunch.

Anonymous said...

I understand completely! As my last update suggests, the staffer I've been talking to may be all wet. But if there's hope, I like to keep plugging away.

Christopher said...

I will never forgive Byrd vis a vis Alito, but that's a whole other topic.

Regarding Rockefeller, he can't even protect the miners in his home state of WV.

At a strategy level, I'd say screw Rockefeller and target Snowe. If necessary, shame her into voting FOR hearings.

Anonymous said...

It's Rockefeller's motion they're supposed to have been voting on tomorrow, and he's the ranking minority member on the Committee.

But, yes, Snowe and Hagel should remain the main focus of our efforts on the R side, in addition to pestering the Ds enough to keep them on the farm.