House FISA Bill Passes, 213-197

By March 14, 2008Briefly Legal, Communications

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.

Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • Bobby says:

    This is a LIE that we lost any ability to monitor anything. The “President” wants to monitor WITHOUT court oversight. THATS IT. And we NEED court oversight. There is no need to change ANY existing laws. There should NEVER be any monitoring without a court order or oversight. There should be NO amnesty to telecom companies who co-operated with our corrupt government in violating our privacy rights. The telecom companies AND the government agencies who were involved should all be sued and prosecuted.

  • Paul Dirks says:

    drag patriotic private companies into court for answering their government’s call for help

    Funny thing. “Their government” consists of three co-equal branches. They didn’t answer “their government’s” call for help becuase 2/3rds of “their government” knows that their conduct was illegal.

  • Paul Dirks says:

    Any bill without immunity for telecom companies will not become law.

    Perhaps true, but it won’t be Congressional Dems who are holding our national security hostage for a special interest. That distinction will fall directly on the President.

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