Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Chris Dodd on FISA on CSPAN2 now

The debate on FISA has not officially started.

You can catch it on CSPAN2.

Sen. Chris Dodd is taking the floor now on FISA. Official debate to start in the morning.

The baseline bill is the Judiciary version that contains retroactive immunity.

The Intelligence version will be debated and it has stripped retroactive immunity.

It appears there are going to be additional new amendments (and old ones) that will be discussed and voted on.

Ben Cardin (D-Md) spoke earlier.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, who sits on both Judiciary and Intelligence committees, has offered an amendment so it will be very interesting to see what sort reconciliation between the version he attempts.

Harry Reid has stated that there will be no "silent filibusters" on this bill or these amendments. In other words, if a minority of 40 wants to block a losing vote then they are going to have to be prepared to do the real thing and talk all night. I gather it also means that majority votes win the day. No requirement for 60 vote margins in order to pass a bill or amendment.

This is not necessarily a good thing for Sen. Chris Dodd, Sen. Russ Feingold, and the patriots attempting to stop this gutting of the Constitution.

Sen. Dodd released the following statement a short while ago:

"Few things are more detrimental to this country than the erosion of and attack on the civil liberties we enjoy. This isn't a Democratic issue or a Republican issue; this is an American issue. If after debate, the Senate appears ready to pass legislation granting telecom providers retroactive immunity I will use any and all legislative tools at my disposal, including a filibuster, to prevent this deeply flawed bill from becoming law. More and more, Americans are rejecting the false choice that has come to define this administration: security or liberty, but never, ever both. For all those who have stood with me throughout this fight, I pledge, once more, to stand up for you."

We are waiting for Dodd to come to the floor to speak.

I've just been informed that Senator Edwards will be on Countdown with Keith Olbermann tonight.

As he has been receiving pressure to act in regard to FISA and retroactive immunity the implication is that he'll have something to say on the subject.

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