Robert Novak

House Democrats got a mixed message from their top two leaders June 20 on the anti-terrorist communications surveillance bill. Majority Leader Steny Hoyer asked them to vote for this bill, but Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not, while voting "aye" herself.

"I'm not asking anybody to vote for this bill," Pelosi told the House. "I just wanted you to know why I was." She told reporters Wednesday she was not aware that Hoyer took a different position. In fact, Hoyer concluded his speech by saying, "I urge passage of this legislation."

Democrats opposed the bill, 128 to 105. But with Republicans in support 188 to 1, the surveillance bill carried, 293 to 129.


Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay has resurfaced with an appeal for contributions to the Coalition for a Conservative Majority, which lists him as chairman and founder.

DeLay suggested that this be enclosed with any contribution: "I am thrilled to learn that you have gotten back in the fight against the Left by forming (the new organization)."

DeLay, who has endorsed John McCain after expressing misgivings, in his fundraising appeal takes positions to the right of the Republican presidential candidate. DeLay asks: "Are you concerned by the growing evidence that there are powerful forces inside our government and out who are quietly moving to have America absorbed into a globalist style 'North American Union' (NAU) with Canada and Mexico?"

Robert Novak

Robert Novak (1931-2009) was a syndicated columnist and editor of the Evans-Novak Political Report.

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