The Senate Stands Up Against President Bush and for the ConstitutionReleased On: January 28, 2008
DFA Members Flood Senate Offices with Thousands of Calls and
Telecom Immunity is Defeated
Members of Democracy for America, our nation's largest progressive political action organization, made thousands of phone calls to Senator Harry Reid and played a key role in forcing the tabling of the reauthorization of the so-called Protect America Act just over one month ago. Today, DFA members responded to the call to action and have scored another victory in the battle against President George Bush's effort to grant retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies who participated in his program of warrantless wiretapping.
Republicans attempted to prevent debate and consideration of Democratic amendments to the FISA bill. GOP senators, working in tandem with the White House, tried to force through a version of the bill with retroactive immunity for the telecommunications companies. The Senate voted 45 to 48 against cloture. A vote for a 30-day extension of the bill also failed with Republicans voting against cloture.
After being targeted by Democracy for America, Senators Clinton and Obama, who had originally indicated they would not participate in today's vote, came to the Senate to vote against cloture.
"Our members were making calls to the Senate at a rate of over 1000 per hour," said Jim Dean, Chair of Democracy for America. "The death of retroactive telecom immunity was an expression of the will of the American people and a victory for the United States Constitution."
President Bush has indicated he will veto the 30-day extension or any version of the Protect America Act that does not include a provision for retroactive immunity.
"For reasons passing all understanding, the Republicans voted against a 30-day extension of a bill the President says is vital to the safety of the American people," said Arshad Hasan, Executive Director of Democracy for America. "Our members got involved and gave voice to what a vast majority of Americans believe: we live in the land of the free and the home of the brave, not some place where the President can throw a tantrum and get what he wants."