Dodd temporarily stops “telecom immunity/domestic spying” bill

Senator Dodd (D-CT) just threw a wrench in Democratic plans to pass George Bush’s “it’s okay if AT&T; and Verizon spied on you” bill (I’d written about some of the Dems caving to Bush on this earlier today). Dodd just put a hold on the bill, which means they’ll need 60 votes (out of 100 senators) in order to proceed to the bill, and even then, it will take them 30 hours to do so. And if Dodd wants to really be a mensch, he can object to the final vote on the bill, the motion to go conference, and then on the conference report as well – coming to a grand total of, at least I’m told, 120 hours of debate that will be needed to finish this bill. A real pain in the butt.

It doesn’t mean the bill is dead. But it does mean that it’s a lot harder to proceed, and it means that Senators, including Democratic Senators, will now have to go on the record as to whether they think it’s okay to cave to George Bush and give AT&T; and Verizon immunity for helping the feds illegally spy on their own customers. There’s going to be a whole lot of pain if they have to keep voting on this, and there should be. The Democrats need to be taught a lesson that there’s a price to pay for their own wimpiness.

But someone else who isn’t wimpy, Senator Judiciary chair Patrick Leahy (D-VT). Leahy today said that he is not pleased at all about the little deal that Intelligence Committee chair Rockefeller brokered with Bush on this legislation. But not to be outdone, Diane “I’ve never seen a Democratic proposal I didn’t want to sell out to the Republicans” Feinstein says she’s prepared to stab the Dems in the back and support Bush on this. Gee, what a surprise, Di-Fi showing no backbone and siding with the Republicans. And she wonders why so many people on the left are constantly beating her up.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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