Hillary on Passage of FISA Bill Today
Both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton missed the final FISA vote today -- they were the only Senators, along with Sen. Graham, to miss it. It occurred between 5:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. The vote was 68 to 29, so it wouldn't have mattered had they been there. Both were present to vote with Sen. Dodd against cloture a few weeks ago and Obama was present this morning to vote on the Amendment.
Hillary Clinton released this statement on the FISA vote today:
"I believe we need to modernize our surveillance laws and give our nation’s intelligence professionals the tools they need to fight terrorism and to make our country more secure. At the same time, smart, balanced reform must also protect the rights and civil liberties of Americans. In my opinion, the FISA Amendments Act of 2007 falls short of these goals, and for that reason, I oppose the bill.
As I have maintained for months, I oppose the provision contained in the bill that grants blanket retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies that allegedly cooperated in the administration's warrantless wiretapping program. I believe granting retroactive immunity under these circumstances is wrong and undermines accountability. To that end, I have supported and cosponsored Senator Dodd’s strong efforts to strip this provision from the FISA bill, and was discouraged to see the amendment fail by such a significant margin.
Over the past seven years, the Bush Administration has blatantly and systematically disregarded Americans' civil liberties. It cannot be trusted to protect Americans’ privacy rights. That is why I strongly believe we need to pass balanced legislation that protects our civil liberties and the rule of law while giving our law enforcement and intelligence agencies the tools they need to protect our country."
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