Dems fight Bush on eavesdropping

February 23, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee is disputing the president's suggestion that the expiration of a surveillance law endangers national security. John Conyers says current surveillance laws are adequate to address any emerging threats.

In the Democrats' weekly radio address, the Michigan congressman said "there should be no question in anyone's mind" that U.S. intelligence agencies are able to take any action necessary to protect the American people. He added that suggesting otherwise would be "irresponsible and totally inaccurate."

President Bush is pushing for Congress to approve a Senate bill that gives retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies that wiretapped American phone and computer lines for the government.

Conyers says Democrats want a strong law that will also preserve "the civil liberties of all Americans.