Press Conference with Leading House Democrats on FISA

Transcript: 

let me make a positive comment. i have had positive conversations with the white house. notwithstanding the rhetoric publicly, it indicates to me that they would like to see a resolution, and they're prepared to have some discussions, which indicates to me that they understand that the legislative process is a give-and-take process. >> when was that? >> yesterday and the day before. >> mr. hoyer, you blame the republicans in terms of not letting the second pass, but the vote that was held on the floor was not passed mostly by the virtue of the 34 democrats, liberals and progressives. >> a very interesting premise. that is your spin and the republican argument. it is in german, there are 435 members of the house. -- ladies and gentlemen, there are 435 members of the house 334 democrats voted now. how many be think the four democrats -- how many you think that 34 democrats to defeat something? 100% of the rubble of the unstows, by their rhetoric -- 100% of the republicans voted, by their rhetoric with which we disagree -- we think the extension was the absolute way, in respect of whose opinions you believe, to protect against that -- in respect of whose opinions you believe, to protect against that. why? because they wanted to play, in my opinion, the politics of fear and rickman chip. -- the politics of fear and brinksmanship. >> it sounds like to try to look for common ground. the final version you believe has some form of immunity? >> it was a good try, but i am not but to get into details. it was a good try. you sort of soften me up, but -- [laughter] why don't i want to get into details? clearly this is an issue of real disagreement substantively. this is not a political issue. it is a substantive issue of what does the constitution requires of us. and what does the law require us in terms of granting the community, as the chairman points out, if immunity is required, it is because there was wrongdoing. if there was wrongdoing, we ought to know, as you feared me say, what the wrongdoing was -- as you hear me say, what the wrongdoing was before we grant immunity why is to go before we grant immunity for it. -- before we get immunity for it. the remark was today's meeting, and i do not know if you've talked to be abstract at -- pete hoeskstra yet, but this meeting we had at 10:00 was to make sure that we were starting. we have some days between now and when we go back and the 25th. i hope we use every one of those days to achieve agreement. >> so not until at least the 25th? >> a, our premise is that there is no risk. the authorities and the protect america act are in place now. nothing happens to them. all the authority that they had today, the law on monday. under the authority already granted. secondly, we believe that we can use every day, and very frankly, if we went to conference, doubly -- nobody believes there was -- it would be an overnight conscience because there are serious issues here. but we do not want to wait to start addressing these issues because we want to act as expeditiously and quickly as we can. chairman conyers, chairman reyes, chairman rockefeller, and chairman leahy was not there but we know he is in agreement with that, what he is the time to get the legislation that allow support of both houses and the president of the united states. >> one more question. >> in terms of this moving forward, at what point you bring ...