Vice President Prods Congress To Act Soon On Surveillance Law

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Cheney is prodding Congress to “act now” to extend and broaden an expiring surveillance law.

At a conservative think tank meeting in Washington, Cheney argued “fighting the war on terror is a long-term enterprise” that should not come with an expiration date.

The law authorizes the administration to eavesdrop on e-mails and phone calls linked to suspected terrorists. It expires February 1st and Congress hasn’t been able to agree on terms of its extension.

Administration allies in Congress want a new version to give immunity to communications companies that are being sued for helping the government eavesdrop.

Congress hastily adopted the act last summer as the administration warned about gaps in the government’s ability to gather intelligence.