Some FISA Amendments Getting Votes Tonight

It looks like, after another day spent mostly debating the economic stimulus package, the Senate will be voting on four amendments to the FISA legislation tonight. Senator Reid said that there will be two roll call votes and two voice votes tonight. That would leave six more amendments that need votes, which would happen tomorrow and Monday if necessary. There is also at least six hours of FISA debate that remains outstanding. Senator Reid seems like he’d like to get a vote on final passage by Tuesday.

I’m not fully clear yet what four amendments will be voted on, but it looks like at least two of them will pertain to use limits and reverse targeting.

The first up is Feingold’s “use limits” amendment.

This amendment, which was part of the Senate Judiciary Committee version of the FISA bill, gives the FISA Court discretion to impose restrictions on the use of information about Americans that is acquired through procedures later determined to be illegal by the FISA court. This enforcement mechanism is needed because the government can implement its procedures before it has to submit them to the FISA Court for review to determine whether they are reasonably designed to target people overseas rather in the United States.

It looks like it will be followed by Feingold’s “significant purpose” amendment. I don’t have a good description for it, but will pass along when I do.

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