Bush Says He May Delay Trip To Push Congress On Eavesdropping Law

WHITE HOUSE (AP) — President Bush says he’ll delay his trip to Africa if needed to make sure Congress extends the law on government eavesdropping of suspected terrorists.

The law expires at midnight Saturday. Bush favors the Senate’s version of the bill. It would protect telecommunications companies who cooperated with the government after 9/11 from lawsuits.

The House version doesn’t include that protection.

Bush again criticized the House for not getting a bill passed, saying there’s “no excuse” for letting the legislation expire.

If the law expires, existing surveillance could continue at least until August. Any new surveillance may require warrants.

House Democratic officials say that means the law’s expiration will have no immediate negative effect. They say they need time to work with the Senate on a compromise.