WASHINGTON (CNN) - Delaying a vote on an overhaul of federal surveillance laws until after the holiday recess is not the best approach to deal with the matter, Sen. Arlen Specter told CNN Tuesday.
"I'm disappointed," Specter, R-Pennsylvania, told "American Morning."
"We will get back fairly late in January on the current schedule, and that doesn't give us enough time. I think it would have been a better approach to work through it now."
Specter is the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid decided Monday to push back the vote on the matter after the Senate bogged down over granting retroactive immunity to companies that cooperated with the Bush administration's warrantless eavesdropping program.
"We have tried to work through this process, and it appears quite clear at this stage on this bill that we're not going to be able to do that," said Reid, D-Nevada. "It is in the best interests of the Senate that we take a look at this when we come back after the first of the year."
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Christopher Dodd, who earlier spearheaded an unsuccessful filibuster attempt to keep the bill off the Senate floor, said he appreciated Reid's decision.
"I look forward to coming back in January, maybe with some suggestions on how we might ease the concerns people have and satisfy that without retroactive immunity," Dodd said after Reid's announcement. " ... I promise I will be willing to listen to all the ideas."