Bush could delay Africa trip if Congress fails to pass spy bill

Other News Materials 14 February 2008 22:33 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa )- US President George W Bush on Thursday urged the House of Representatives to quickly pass a terrorism surveillance measure and threatened to delay his planned departure for Africa the next day to oversee the measure's passage.

The US Senate on Tuesday approved the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which includes authority to carry out secret wiretaps on foreign communications and legal immunity for phone companies that have carried out wiretapping without warrants.

Bush says the action is necessary to protect the country from terrorist attacks, but the lower House of Representatives has not been able to come to agreement with the Senate over immunity for the phone companies.

The president is scheduled to leave Washington Friday for a five- nation trip to Africa designed to highlight his administration's effort to combat HIV/AIDS and malaria on the continent.

He is to visit Benin, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ghana and Liberia and told reporters even if he delays the trip he will still make stops in all five countries.

A temporary surveillance measure is to expire Saturday.