Final vote on H.R. 3773, 213-197 (1 present). Looks like many of the House Blue Dog Democrats who voted for the Senate bill, S. 2248, also voted for this new House Democratic leadership bill.
That’s an awful lot of people not voting, 24?
Any bill without immunity for telecom companies will not become law.
UPDATE (2:35 p.m.) The AP story by Pamela Hess is a good summary.
UPDATE (2:58 p.m.): A very sharp reaction from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell:
This House vote represents a ‘cover vote’ which the Democratic leadership believes will allow them to go on their Easter recess claiming to have passed a bill that protects America. But instead, they’ve done great harm to the effort to enact a responsible strengthening of our anti-terror laws during this session of the Congress. Democrats passed a bill which would drag patriotic private companies into court for answering their government’s call for help, created yet another Commission to investigate the administration, and failed our intelligence professionals by denying them the tools they need to track and stop foreign terrorists before they act.
UPDATE (5:27 p.m.): Andy McCarthy cuts through the rhetoric:
But the bottom line is: when the Protect America Act lapsed on February 16 due to House inaction, we lost the ability to monitor without restrictions emerging terrorist threats overseas. As National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell (a former Clinton Administration director of the NSA) has observed, we have lost intelligence. Thanks to today’s action, that unacceptable situation will continue.
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