Democrats Withdraw Spy Bill

Delay vote that would give phone companies immunity in spy scandal
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 18, 2007 3:20 AM CST
Democrats Withdraw Spy Bill
Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., is a leading opponent of legislation that would give immunity to phone companies that co-operated in the government's warrantless surveillance program. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – Legislation that would have granted retroactive immunity for phone companies that cooperated in the National Security Agency's warrantless surveillance program was abruptly withdrawn by Senate majority leader Harry Reid late yesterday. The legislation, favored by the White House, had deeply divided Democrats. Reid said the Senate would deal with the bill in the next session.

"He blinked," Caroline Fredrickson, Washington director of the ACLU said of Reid, according to the Washington Post. "It's clear that this was not going to be easy. He wanted to rush this process and think he could strong-arm everybody to giving up their rights as senators. They threw sand in the gears." (Read more warrantless wiretapping stories.)

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