FISA Amendments Flail and Die
The Senate has postponed a vote on its eavesdropping bill while lawmakers enjoy a short luncheon, but the chamber did already get around to killing the three amendments that would have held the phone companies into account for any illegal acts they may have committed under the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program. A quick run-down:
The Christopher Dodd amendment, which would remove telecom immunity altogether, fell 66 to 32.
The Arlen Specter amendment, which would have the courts determine the constitutionality of the wiretapping program before immunity could be granted, fell 61 to 37.
And the Jeff Bingaman amendment, which would delay immunity until an investigation into the program was complete, fell 42 to 56.
Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) was in town and supported all three. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is on the road. Final vote to follow within the hour. That popping noise you hear is the folks at AT&T enjoying a champagne shower.