From Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a news release from this morning:
I was encouraged to see that my good friend the Majority Leader believes we can pass a FISA bill with sufficient time to get it signed before it expires. And I was very pleased to see that the Chairman of the Intelligence Committee believes the bipartisan version reported out of his committee last fall will be the one we ultimately pass by Feb.1. This is good news not only because the Intelligence Committee’s version is the best, but with some modification is also the only one the President will sign.
We’ve put this off long enough. Let’s pass this bill, and protect this vital tool before it expires.
The Intelligence Committee’s version of S. 2248 was reported out on a 13-2, bipartisan vote.
UPDATE (12:40 p.m.) Senator Reid’s statement.
“In addition to considering the procedures included in Title I of the bill, we will also debate the question of whether telephone companies that allegedly facilitated President Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program should be granted retroactive immunity from civil lawsuits. Senators Dodd and Feingold will seek to strike the immunity title entirely. I oppose immunity, and will support their amendment. If this amendment is not adopted, there will be other amendments to limit the immunity provisions in the Intelligence bill. Senators Specter and Whitehouse have an amendment they plan to offer, as do Senators Feinstein and Nelson of Florida. I will support these amendments as well.
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