The FISA Roll Call Vote

By February 12, 2008Briefly Legal, Communications

The roll call vote on final passage of S. 2248, the FISA amendments, is available here. The vote was 68-29.

Republicans: 48 yea, 0 nay, 1 absent (Graham of South Carolina) (Including Lieberman as a Democrat.
Democrats: 20 yea, 29 nay, 2 absent (Obama and Clinton)

This is not what is normally called a “largely party-line vote” as Reuters described it. A “largely party-line vote” is when one or two or, at most, three members of a party split with their partisan colleagues.

And how interesting that of the Democrats, only the presidential candidates missed the final vote. The vote occurred between 5:30 p.m. and 6 p.m., hardly an inconvenient time.

Obama did vote on the cloture motion — against — which passed 69-29, which puts him on record as against the legislation.

UPDATE (9:55 p.m.): The Guardian highlights the presidential politics and notes that Obama also voted to eliminate legal immunity for the telecoms.

UPDATE (10:50 p.m.): A statement from President Bush.

The House of Representatives now has an opportunity to put aside narrow partisan concerns and come together to pass this bipartisan bill and send it to my desk without delay. Our intelligence professionals and private sector partners need the certainty of long-term legislation that will allow us to keep programs in place to protect the Nation, so that the flow of critical intelligence information is not interrupted.

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Pete Wargo says:

    Wonderful. If we give retroactive immunity for companies that break the law, expect the floodgates to open wide. Lawyers love precedent, and will use this as a lever to forgive all sorts of corporate malfeasance.

    Such hypocrisy – if our President was so concerned about protecting the public, why did he promise to veto this bill unless it included immunity? It seems as if he’s more interested in protecting his corporate allies and possibly his own butt than the American public.

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