As I understand it, Dodd and Feingold have signed off on a unanimous consent agreement to hold debate on three amendments (one of them immunity) on July 8, and then hold the vote then.

Here’s Feingold’s short statement on the delay.

I’m pleased we were able to delay a vote on FISA until after the July 4th holiday instead of having it jammed through. I hope that over the July 4th holiday, Senators will take a closer look at this deeply flawed legislation and understand how it threatens the civil liberties of the American people. It is possible to defend this country from terrorists while also protecting the rights and freedoms that define our nation.

And here’s Dodd’s statement on it.

I’m pleased that consideration of the FISA Amendments Act has been delayed until after the 4th of July recess. I urge my colleagues to take this time to listen to their constituents and consider the dangerous precedent that would be set by granting retroactive immunity to the telecommunications companies that may have engaged in President Bush’s illegal wiretapping program.

When and if FISA does come back to the Senate floor, I will offer my amendment to strip the retroactive immunity provision out of the bill. I implore my colleagues to support the rule of law and join me in voting against retroactive immunity.

So we’ve got 12 days to convince our Senators to stop channeling the barnacle and protect our Constitution.

Update: Here’s what’s going to happen on the 8th.

This evening Senator Reid filed cloture on H.R. 6304. Under the agreement at a time to be determined on Tuesday, July 8, the Senate will proceed to Calendar #827, H.R. 6304, FISA. The following amendments are the only amendments in order:

Dodd-Feingold-Leahy amendment to strike immunity;

Specter amendment which is relevant; (60-vote threshold); and

Bingaman amendment re: staying court cases against telecom companies (60-vote threshold).

Debate on the amendments is limited to the times listed below with the time equally divided and controlled:

Dodd- 2 hours, with Senator Leahy controlling 10 minutes;

Specter- 2 hours; and

Bingaman- 60 minutes.

Upon the use or yielding back of time, the Senate will proceed to vote on the amendments.

Prior to the cloture vote, there will be up to 60 minutes for debate equally divided and controlled between the Leaders or their designees, with Senator Leahy controlling 10 minutes. Senator Feingold will control an additional 30 minutes and Senator Dodd will control an additional 15 minutes. Upon the use or yielding back of time, the Senate will proceed to a vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the FISA bill. If cloture is invoked, all post-cloture debate time will be yielded back and the Senate will proceed to vote on passage of the bill.



Marcy Wheeler aka Emptywheel is an American journalist whose reporting specializes in security and civil liberties.