‘John Doe’ Amendment: Still Not Dead

UPDATE AT THE BOTTOM

I Am John Doe - Sue Me!

There may still be a chance that the “John Doe” amendment will be attached to the Homeland Security funding bill, despite efforts by the Democrats. Let your congress people know that you support this amendment, and that you will be angry with them if they don’t.

WASHINGTON — A provision aimed at providing whistleblower protection to Americans who report suspicious activity has advanced on Capitol Hill despite opposition from some Democrats, as top Republicans announced an agreement last night.

The House Republican leader, Rep. John Boehner of Ohio, and Rep. Peter King, a Republican of Long Island, said last night that they had reached agreement to include what has become known as the “John Doe” amendment in the final version of a major homeland security bill to implement the recommendations of the commission established to investigate the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

The bill is currently in a House-Senate conference committee, and a deal will be announced today.

The homeland security legislation mandates tighter inspections on cargo coming into America on passenger planes and ships, and it could help direct more anti-terror funds to New York by adjusting the funding formulas in favor of high-risk areas.

Disagreement over the “John Doe” amendment had been the last sticking point of the broader legislation, which the Democrats had pegged as one of their top priorities in taking control of Congress this year.

Mr. King first introduced the amendment earlier this year after the Council on American-Islamic Relations filed a lawsuit on behalf of six imams who were removed from a US Airways flight in November over allegations of suspicious activity.

The measure would offer civil immunity protections to individuals who tip off the police to such activity.

The amendment won House approval in March and a majority of senators, including Senators Schumer and Clinton of New York, supported a similar measure sponsored by Senator Collins, a Republican of Maine, when she tried to attach it to an education bill last week. But it fell three votes shy of the 60 it needed to pass.

Some Democrats had raised civil liberties concerns, saying the legislation would lead to unfair targeting of people based on their appearance, religion, or ethnicity.

The measure has gained momentum, however, amid the recent reports of terrorist plots, including one to attack Fort Dix in New Jersey in May and another, more recently, to blow up fuel tanks at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.

A leading Republican presidential candidate, Mayor Giuliani, is also weighing in. In a statement yesterday, he criticized Democrats who opposed it, saying they “just don’t get the terrorists’ war on us.”

He also praised Mr. King, who has endorsed his candidacy as someone who puts “national security first and political correctness run amok second.”

Original Link.

Michelle Malkin’s Photoshop’ers have been busy and made the image at the top of this post. I like it so much that I’m going to add it to the blog sidebar. I recommend you fellow bloggers do so too.

Update: 07/25/2007 12:42 CDT

Victory! The King Amendment is saved!

(Washington, D.C.): The Center for Security Policy is gratified that its efforts, those of innumerable bloggers, radio talk show hosts and other public-minded citizens translated into an important legislative victory late last night. Thanks to the leadership of Sens. Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins, the chairman and ranking minority member, respectively, of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and especially that of Rep. Pete King, Sen. Collins’ counterpart on the House Homeland Security Committee, legislation along the lines of that adopted by an overwhelming bipartisan majority of the House of Representatives last May at Rep. King’s initiative will shortly become law.

The language will provide protection against the sorts of harassment lawsuits filed by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) after several unidentified individuals reported six Muslim imams engaged in suspicious – and frightening – behavior prior to boarding a USAir flight in November 2006. CAIR has been identified as a front organization for the Muslim Brotherhood and is an un-indicted co-conspirator in an alleged terrorism-financing plot.

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