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Senate to take up FISA after holiday break

June 26, 2008 at 5:31 PM

WASHINGTON, June 26 (UPI) -- Reauthorization of the U.S. government's wiretapping laws has been pushed back until July after one senator said he objected to the bill's immunity language.

Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., said he opposed language in the reauthorization of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that likely would give retroactive immunity from lawsuits to telephone companies that complied with warrantless surveillance requests from the government, The Hill reported Thursday.

Because Feingold wants more time to delay consideration until after the Independence Day recess, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said, "(it) doesn't look like" the Senate will consider the FISA bill this week. Another senator is holding up the housing bill because he wants to include alternative energy-related tax credits.

Senate leadership had hoped to complete work on the FISA reauthorization, as well as measures on housing, an emergency war-spending supplement and Medicare this week.

Democrats threatened to keep the Senate in session through the weekend if Republicans didn't agree to move quickly with the Medicare bill, The Hill, a Washington political newspaper, said.

"We can't leave until we finish Medicare and the (war-spending) supplemental," Durbin said.

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