Dodd: It's up to the House to stop telecom immunity

by Paul Kiel, TPM Muckraker

Speaking to a conference call of reporters this afternoon, Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) said that, reflecting on the string of defeats in the Senate today, he thought the House was the best hope for stripping retroactive immunity from the final surveillance bill.

"We've lost every single battle we had on this bill [in the Senate].... We're not getting anywhere at all" he said. "The question now is can the House do better." After the bill passes in the Senate, as is expected late today or tomorrow, the bill would head to a conference. There, conferees from both houses will try to hash out the significant differences between the House and Senate versions, the issue of retroactive immunity chief among them.

However, Dodd said, if the final bill emerging from that powwow does contain retroactive immunity, he said he'd "absolutely" filibuster that bill; he'd use "whatever vehicles we can" to stop it.

The Senate had "just sanctioned" the "single largest invasion of privacy in the history of the country," he said. When asked why he thought so many Dem senators had crossed over, he replied: "Unfortunately, those who are advocating this notion that you have to give up liberties in order to be more secure are apparently prevailing. They seem to be convincing people that you're at risk politically or we're at risk as a nation if we don't give up rights."

article originally published at http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/02/dodd_its_up_to_the_house.php.

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