FISA: Voting Set To Begin
Dodd-Feingold-Leahy Amendment: YAYS 32 NAYS 66
Specter Amendment: YAYS 37 NAYS 61
Bingaman Amendment: YAYS 42 NAYS 56
Final speeches continue on the floor just prior to the voting beginning on the amendments to the FISA Amendments bill, and then the Senate will proceed to voting on the bill as a whole. Various senators are finishing up speeches on the floor at the moment — Sen. Dodd spoke previously and was in a fiery mood today. Good on him.
Will track voting as it occurs. Earlier today, Russ Feingold said the following:
"I sit on the Intelligence and Judiciary Committees, and I am one of the few members of this body who has been fully briefed on the warrantless wiretapping program. And, based on what I know, I can promise that if more information is declassified about the program in the future, as is likely to happen either due to the Inspector General report, the election of a new President, or simply the passage of time, members of this body will regret that we passed this legislation. I am also familiar with the collection activities that have been conducted under the Protect America Act and will continue under this bill. I invite any of my colleagues who wish to know more about those activities to come speak to me in a classified setting. Publicly, all I can say is that I have serious concerns about how those activities may have impacted the civil liberties of Americans. If we grant these new powers to the government and the effects become known to the American people, we will realize what a mistake it was, of that I am sure."
I could not agree more.
11:47 am ET: Kit Bond is blathering on and on at the moment, misstating both the law and the facts about the FISA law. In all this time since Dec. 2005, you’d think someone would have done a picture book for him to walk him through this so that he had a real understanding of this, wouldn’t you?
Now there will be 2 minutes of debate on the Dodd-Feingold-Leahy Amendment, then there will be a vote. There will be a yays and nays vote on all three amendments, meaning we’ll eventually get a full accounting of who votes for what.
Sen. Dodd up now. This is a matter for the courts to decide, not the legislative branch to decide. Since 1978 — 18748 requests for warrants have been asked of the FISC — only 5 have been rejected. So what is the Bush Administration working so hard to hide? The false dichotomy that in order to be more secure we have to give up rights is a false choice — and a dangerous one. Talks about the fact that some companies refused to go along with the Administration’s request because they did not have the legal warrants required to make the demands on them. It is not the place of the US Senate to act as the judicial branch of government.
Will we follow the rule of law or the rule of man? That is what this amendment does — it holds up the rule of law. Urges colleagues to vote for Dodd-Feingold-Leahy.
Sen. Bond: Blah blah blah Article II makes the president all powerful. How dare you question his au-thor-i-tay? blah blah blah
Voting now on Dodd-Feingold-Leahy. Amendment fails: YAYS 32 NAYS 66.
On to debate on the Specter Amendment. And now the vote. Am not going to pull the individual votes on this one, but will link up the vote when I get it. YAYS 37 NAYS 61
Now on to the Bingaman Amendment. Amendment fails: YAYS 42 NAYS 56
Senate is now in recess until 2:15 pm ET. Final vote will occur at that time on the bill.