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Telecom immunity passes Senate, Obama votes yes

The Senate – with a yes vote from Barack Obama and a no vote from Hillary Clinton – passed the regrettable wiretapping bill today, which grants lawsuit immunity to telecommunications companies, The Wall Street Journal reports.Despite a spirited resistance by some Democratic senators who argued against providing immunity to the phone companies, in the end the bill carried easily in a 69-28 vote.
Written by Richard Koman, Contributor on
The Senate – with a yes vote from Barack Obama and a no vote from Hillary Clinton – passed the regrettable wiretapping bill today, which grants lawsuit immunity to telecommunications companies, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Despite a spirited resistance by some Democratic senators who argued against providing immunity to the phone companies, in the end the bill carried easily in a 69-28 vote.

Earlier Wednesday, lawmakers had defeated an attempt by Democratic senators to remove the legal immunity language from the legislation. That amendment only needed 50 votes to carry, but its proponents, which include most of the senior ranks of Senate Democrats, were unable to muster the requisite support.

Obama issued a statement saying the bill was the best resolution that lawmakers were able to reach. But with the vote so lopsided, Obama could have easily voted against the bill, confident that it would pass anyway. It comes down to a matter of politics. The political tea-readers decided that there was no political upside to being against enhanced government spying, and so a vote was cast. Pity. The ACLU said the issue might come up for review when the Patriot Act comes up for renewal.

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