This afternoon the Senate will reconvene to begin considering a raft of amendments to the bad Intelligence Committee bill on warrantless wiretapping. Debate will begin at 2 PM Eastern, though no votes will happen before 5:30 and it’s still unclear if votes on FISA will happen today. What looks more certain is that Title II amendments are likely to be considered tomorrow, namely the Dodd-Feingold Amendment to strip retroactive immunity from the underlying SSCI bill.
I have a breakdown of all the amendments being considered (and cboldt’s work has been much linked to, for good reason) at the CREDO Action Blog. But what I’m most concerned about today is the part of this legislative fight that has garnered the most attention thus far: retroactive immunity.
We only need 51 votes for Dodd-Feingold to pass and though we aren’t where we need to be yet, we have just over 24 hours to lobby the Senate to get the votes we need to defend the rule of law.
George Bush and Dick Cheney are pulling out all the stops to give their friends at Verizon and AT&T immunity. Retroactive immunity would prevent us from finding out what the Bush administration asked these companies to do and who asked them to act outside of the law. It would also prevent the big telecoms from ever being held accountable for violating the privacy and rights of millions of Americans.
We can stop retroactive immunity, but we need you to ask your senators to vote for the Dodd-Feingold amendment.
Click here to take action through CREDO Action’s Senate contact tool.
Our country is at its strongest when we are governed by the rule of law, not the rule of rightwing ideologues and authoritarian presidents in bed with our largest corporations. Stripping retroactive immunity from the current bill would ensure that the Senate preserves the rule of law in America.
We’ve fought hard to get to this point. Thanks to the work of Senators Dodd and Feingold, this fight has been delayed and delayed since October of last fall. With each delay we’ve found ways to put more pressure on the Senate to pass a good wiretapping bill that doesn’t include retroactive immunity. Now we need 51 votes.
The Senate will vote this week, most likely on Tuesday. Can you take action and then get a few friends involved too?
I’m not going to sugar coat this for you – we have an uphill fight to get to 51 votes. But we’ll have no chance of getting there if we don’t use the next day to make our voices heard.
McJoan has a list of phone numbers for key targets in the Senate. I hope you use it!
Cross posted at Daily Kos and the CREDO Blog.
Disclosure: I was proud to help lead the fight against telecom immunity as part of Senator Chris Dodd’s presidential campaign. I have joined the CREDO Mobile team to stop the Bush administration’s illegal wiretapping program and hold the telecom companies accountable for their lawbreaking.