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Bipartisanship breaks out in Washington

By Marc Thiessen

Yesterday saw a remarkable display of bipartisan cooperation break out in Washington – but it wasn’t at the Blair House health-care summit.

The bipartisanship took place on the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, where Congressional Republicans and the Obama White House together killed a surprise amendment by Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) that would have authorized the criminal prosecution of U.S. intelligence officials for a wide range of ill-defined interrogation techniques -- with sentences of 15 years or more.

The provision was quietly slipped into the House Intelligence Authorization bill as a “manager’s amendment” by Chairman Sylvester Reyes while all eyes were fixed on the health-care talks. There were no hearings or public debate on it -- and the CIA wasn’t given an opportunity to comment. White House officials were quick to wash their hands of it, though. And Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.), the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, rallied congressional Republicans to demand debate. McDermott wouldn’t even come to the floor to explain or defend his legislation. Then the entire intelligence bill was suddenly and mysteriously pulled, and Democrats called a late-night emergency meeting to discuss how to proceed.

If Congressional Republicans and the Obama White House can find common ground on the divisive issue of terrorist interrogation, then perhaps there is hope for bipartisan cooperation in Washington after all.

By Marc Thiessen  | February 26, 2010; 9:45 AM ET
Categories:  Thiessen  | Tags:  Marc Thiessen  
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Next: The real story on health-care 'reconciliation'


What does it say about the character of a representative who tries to slip such a thing into law without debate and then refuses to stand up for it when debate is brought forth? Probably that he does not deserve to represent anyone of character.

Posted by: colonel5 | February 26, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Sean Hannity and Sarah Palin: On The Health Care Summit...

Sarah Palin:100% Confusion."I'm All For "Free Market Private Insurance Markets, But Most Of It Needs To Be Reformed"

Posted by: omaarsblade | February 26, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Fox News & Republican AM Hate Radio Lie and Distort "Reconciliation"...

Republicans have Used Reconciliation [14 Times] out of 21 Times its been Used, Since 1981. Reagan Used It, Clinton Used It and George W. Bush and his Majority Ruling [2001-2006 Senate & Congress] Used it A Lot.


Rep.Sen.Judd Gregg On Reconciliation: "If You have 51 Votes, You Win, There's Nothing Wrong With Majority Rules"

Fox News Shepard Smith: "Bush and His then Majority Senate and Congress Used Reconciliation in 2001-2003 & 2005"

Shepard Smith: "If the Democrats want to Use Reconciliation, They Could do that"

Posted by: omaarsblade | February 26, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Here is one of the most ignoble of the Bush's ex-hacks, Thiessen, rejoicing that torture will not be punished.

Posted by: Gatsby10 | February 26, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Just cause Thiessen says it, don't make it so.
He's been very unimpressive selling his book on TV lately.

Posted by: edismae | February 27, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

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