The Senate passed a bill today to expand the government's wiretapping powers and to grant immunity to phone companies that aided the government in post-9/11 investigations, the Washington Post reports. That translates into a big victory for the White House, notes the New York Times. The bill now goes to the House, which rejected immunity, for negotiations.
Though the bill, an update to a 1978 surveillance law, would grant Bush’s wishes, it would also extend the powers of a court established that year to regulate eavesdropping. Senators voted 68-29 to pass the bill despite two months of disagreements over balancing civil liberties and surveillance.