As lawmakers continue to react to the "compromise" deal on a new federal surveillance law
, several Democrats in the Senate are coming out against the bill.
Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) has been the most outspoken since the deal was unveiled this morning.
"The proposed FISA deal is not a compromise; it is a capitulation. The House and Senate should not be taking up this bill, which effectively guarantees immunity for telecom companies alleged to have participated in the President's illegal program, and which fails to protect the privacy of law-abiding Americans at home. Allowing courts to review the question of immunity is meaningless when the same legislation essentially requires the court to grant immunity. And under this bill, the government can still sweep up and keep the international communications of innocent Americans in the U.S. with no connection to suspected terrorists, with very few safeguards to protect against abuse of this power. Instead of cutting bad deals on both FISA and funding for the war in Iraq, Democrats should be standing up to the flawed and dangerous policies of this administration."
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) also said he opposed the House deal.
"This bill would dismiss ongoing cases against the telecommunications carriers that participated in that program without allowing a judicial review of the legality of the program. Therefore, it lacks accountability measures that I believe are crucial.
Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), who has been cool to recent talk about the House deal, appears on the fence, and issued this statement today:
"Senator Reid believes this version is better than the bill the Senate passed in February and much better than the Protect America Act signed by the President last summer, but he remains opposed to retroactive immunity and is reviewing the bill in its entirety."
The Senate passed a bill that provided retroactive immunity to telecom companies earlier this year, so it's unlikely that there will be enough votes to defeat the latest version of immunity.