House passes surveillence bill
Thank you sir (ma’am), may I have another.
Don’t tell me that there is a ton of difference between Republicans and Democrats when stuff like this happens. The FISA bill is a large piece of corporate lovin’. The Democratic leadership in the House planned this. They crafted this so that they would vote on Friday and that the blow back would happen over a weekend. They were hoping that everything would be almost back to normal by Monday. …And they are looking out for who? The American people not being served by Steny Hoyer and Nancy Pelosi, today. This is a terrible day for the democratic party. BTW, where is Barack Obama?
Donate NOW to help stop this craziness. I have given, I hope that you will give also because this has to stop.
Update: I thought that TCR would have some good information and I was right:
Looking over the final roll call, most House Dems voted against the measure, while House Republicans were nearly unanimous in their support. Specifically, among Dems, 128 voted against it, while 105 voted for it. Among Republicans, 188 voted for it, and just one (Illinois’ Tim Johnson, whose work I’m not especially familiar with, was the lone GOP lawmaker to break ranks.)
Plenty of Dems spoke out forcefully against the bill, but the one quote that stands out most for me came before the debate began. Sen. Chris Bond (R-Mo.), who negotiated with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) on the legislation, told the NYT, “I think the White House got a better deal than they even they had hoped to get.”
The House today overwhelmingly approved a sweeping new surveillance law that effectively would shield telecommunications companies from privacy lawsuits for cooperating with the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program.
Ending a year-long battle with President Bush, the House approved, 293 to 129, a re-write of the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) that extends the government’s ability to eavesdrop on espionage and terrorism suspects while providing a legal escape hatch for AT&T, Verizon Communications and other telecommunication firms. The companies face more than 40 lawsuits that allege they violated customers’ privacy rights by helping the government conduct a warrantless spying program after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Before the vote, President Bush today lauded Congress for reaching agreement on the legislation, saying it was vital to help thwart new terrorist attacks. (more…)