Senate Passes FISA Bill with Immunity for Telecoms

A standoff in the Senate over expanding the government's eavesdropping powers has finally come to a conclusion. Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama left the campaign trail to join in a series of votes to amend the wiretapping bill backed by the White House. The Senate then passed the legislation 68-29.

The Senate's version of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act provides greater protections for Americans targeted for surveillance. It also gives legal immunity to phone companies that cooperated in President Bush's warrantless wiretapping program.

The bill must be reconciled with the House bill, which contains no immunity.

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