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Out with a bang

From NBC's Ken Strickland
At this writing, it looks as though the earliest the Senate will consider legislation on the NSA's warrantless surveillance program is next week, the final week of business before the Congress heads home for midterm elections. And with delicate negotiations over detainee trial policy still ongoing and possibly prolonged until next week, the GOP's whole national security pre-election agenda could get crunched into a few final days.

Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed three different bills on the controversial NSA program, including the White House-sponsored bill. But since the committee has never been briefed on the program, the Intelligence Committee has asked to look over all of the legislation to see if changes are warranted (and Majority Leader Frist has agreed to withhold Senate consideration until the week of the 25th).