December 18th, 2007
10:00 AM ET
10 years ago

Specter 'disappointed' by delayed Senate vote

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."

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soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. John G Charleston SC

    So why doesn't Reid say why he is really doing this. He doesn't think he can win now so he is stalling as long as he can. Reid needs to stop playing games with the Senate and do the job the American people elected him to.

    December 18, 2007 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  2. joey las vegas nevada

    the answer to demwit and those who have similar views and questions is simple.
    The President is not king. The most basic tenet of democracy and our constitution is quite clear. Not even the president is above the law and not even the president has the authority OR the right to ask anyone to violate the law.
    Did companies have a choice ? YES, absolutely. Some companies made the right choice, other did not.
    Regardless of your political affiliation, you should be outraged at the callous and cavalier approach to law and accountability that this issue reveals.
    "For as in absolute governments the king is law, so in free countries the law ought to be king; and there ought to be no other. "

    December 18, 2007 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  3. YoMama

    Sens Dodd and Feingold and rabid Bush-hating left are being childish. The companies did this to aid national security. If you are so hell-bent on not having eavesdropping or Gitmo or other aspects of the war on terror and demand we get out of the Middle East completely FIRST. Don't demand disarmament at home while we keep on feeding the Arab rage by supporting Israel and occupying Iraq. Sacrificing civil liberties is the tax we must pay for our interventionist foreign policy.

    December 18, 2007 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  4. Howard, NY

    Sens Dodd and Feingold and rabid Bush-hating left are being childish. The companies did this to aid national security.

    Bull$#!^. Name one case where illegal wiretapping aided national security. They started doing it even before 9/11, it was just a convenient justification after the fact.

    December 18, 2007 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  5. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    What sort of bogus secret memos were produced and what promises were made by Gonzales and others to coerce normally cautious corporate counsel for the telecoms to agree to participate in unconstitutional wiretapping? Inquiring minds want to know.

    December 18, 2007 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  6. Village Idiots For Truth Crawford, tX

    STUPID QUOTE OF THE DAY: "So what is Hillary's opinion on this issue? Oh I forgot, she doesn't take a firm stand on any important issue and now that this matter has been pushed back, she will not need to take any action until after the initial primaries.

    I don't expect this "Do Nothing" congress to accomplish anything significant and I certainly have learned not to expect candidate Hillary to take on any issue."

    Seems Senator Obama has been the one who has decided to bail on his Senate duties. Tries to blame Reid for not giving him enough notice – yet he was the only one of two Senators who didn't make it back for the Iran vote. Notice he never calls Hillary out on that!! BECAUSE HE DIN'T EVEN VOTE NOR WAS HE EVEN IN THE SENATE FOR THE IRAQ VOTE 10/11/02 Pretty easy to be a Monday morning quarter back and brag about what he would have done!!! Oh that's right the Golden Boy can do no wrong – isn't that what everyone said about Dubya?? Might almost be laughable if it weren't so SCAREY

    Not Voting – 2
    McCain (R-AZ)
    Obama (D-IL) 🙁

    The only reason 90% of the people who are voting for Obama are doing so because they are voting AGAINST Hillary as in AnyoneButHillary and StopHillaryNow. Fanatical groups so full of hatred and venom – who will reap what they sow. The message they've been spreading is NOT the one that Obama is embracing, Vote for Biden or Richardson and at least save the country from your stupidity. You may have an ax to grind, but the rest of us don't deserve another 4-8ys of GOP because you're living your lives blinded by hatred.

    December 18, 2007 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  7. Antonio, Tempe AZ

    Remember when breaking the law was against the law?

    Remember when "Law and Order" conservatives actually cared about the rule of law?

    December 18, 2007 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  8. demwit

    Which American was prosecuted using these terror fighting tactics??

    December 19, 2007 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  9. Anonymous

    Who needs a warrant when you have Congress' approval??

    December 19, 2007 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
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