Friday, March 14, 2008

Thank you Harry...

Earlier today, in spite of Republican tactics that reeked of hysteria, grandstanding, and attempts to baldly intimidate them, Congressman Harry Mitchell (D-AZ5) and 212 other Democrats approved the House version of H.R. 3773, the FISA Amendments Act of 2008.

The House version did not include the main clause that the President and the other Republicans in D.C. wanted, the one that retroactively granted immunity to telecommunications companies that participated in warrantless wiretapping in the past.

The final vote was 213 - 197, 1 voting 'present.' The voting in the Arizona delegation fell along party lines - Democrats Giffords, Grijalva, Pastor, and Mitchell voting 'yea'; Republicans Flake, Franks, Renzi, and Shadegg voting 'nay.'

Last August, I criticized Harry Mitchell and the Blue Dogs for voting for a very bad bill, one that didn't require judicial oversight of electronic surveillance; it's only fair that I compliment him and them (mostly, anyway - 12 Dems crossed over today) now.

They've earned it.

Washington Post coverage of today's vote here.

WaPo coverage of President Bush's remarks on the topic yesterday here (summary: he says that he will veto any bill without immunity.)

White House statement on today's vote here.

ACLU statement on today's vote here.


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