WASHINGTON, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- Lawmakers will reconvene Thursday to continue their fraught efforts to hammer out a compromise bill implementing the recommendations of the Sept. 11 commission.
As of Wednesday evening, key legislators still had not seen the compromise proposal being drafted by Rep. Peter Hoekstra, R-Mich., chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Hoekstra leads the House-Senate conference committee charged with hashing out a pre-election deal on legislation to reform U.S. intelligence agencies, and address other weaknesses in the nation's defenses against terrorism.
Wednesday's first formal conference broke up amid acrimony and Democrat charges that the House GOP were freezing them out.
Hoekstra later held a closed door meeting with the senior Democrat from his committee, Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif., and the two Senators who have led that chamber's reform effort, Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn.
Leaving the meeting during an adjournment, Lieberman told United Press International that the so-called Gang of Four had not yet seen the Hoekstra proposal. "He outlined it to us. It represents several steps forward, but there need to be several more steps before the Senate will be happy with it."