No Telecom Amnesty in Senate FISA

(updated 11/16) 

Got this email tonight from Senator Dodd’s people: 

As they say … Breaking News from the Senate.

Forgive me if some of this is in the weeds, I’ll try and make the parliamentary process as painless as possible.

  1. Within the last hour, the Senate Judiciary Committee just reported out a FISA bill that DOES NOT include retroactive immunity for the telecom companies that helped the Bush Administration spy on Americans.
  2. This means the Judiciary bill moves to the full Senate WITHOUT the dangerous language included.
  3. Retroactive immunity will, however, surely be introduced as an amendment to the FISA bill.
  4. If needed Senator Dodd will filibuster any amendment seeking to add retroactive immunity to the underlying bill. By filibustering, he will force the opposition to find 60 votes to pass the provision.

It will be a lot more difficult for those who would enable the erosion of our Constitution to find the 60 votes necessary to stop immunity on its own than it would be for us to find the 40 needed to sustain a filibuster of the bill as a whole if it included immunity.

Today is a great victory for all of us — and another example of Chris Dodd‘s leadership.

If it wasn’t for our efforts, together, retroactive immunity would be well on its way to sailing through the Senate … largely unnoticed.

The fight continues, for sure, but this was a big victory today.

Yes, this is big. I get stuff from Dodd’s people because I emailed my thanks for his opposition to telecom immunity when he first threatened to filibuster. Strong stands for justice like his need to be acknowledged and honored.

UPDATE: Christy Hardin Smith at Firedoglake has a helpful summary of what this means vis a vis next steps in the Senate.

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