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Following Public Outcry, Senate FISA Vote Postponed

Congress thought granting immunity to phone companies that violate our rights was a good idea. Tens of thousands of their constituents disagreed.
 
 
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WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Senate leadership announced Thursday that it is pushing back a vote on legislation that would grant immunity to phone companies who spied on Americans. This happened after more than 13,000 calls to senators were made by TrueMajority.org supporters during the past 48 hours to urge them to oppose the measure. TrueMajority.org is the online arm of USAction.

On Monday 26,000 TrueMajority.org supporters sent email messages to Senators Chris Dodd, D-CT, Russ Feingold, D-WI, and Barack Obama, D-IL, to ask them to mount a filibuster to halt the bill. On Tuesday afternoon, the 13,000 phone calls started. Dodd and Feingold quickly announced they would move to delay a vote on FISA.

"People-powered democracy made this happen," said Matt Holland, TrueMajority.org online director. "Congressional leadership somehow thought granting immunity to phone companies that violate our right to privacy was a good idea. Tens of thousands of their constituents disagreed. Americans just don't like being spied on. They want the phone companies that engaged in unethical and illegal behavior to be held accountable."

Holland said the delay in voting on FISA will allow opponents of the immunity measure to mobilize and lobby members of Congress over the 4th of July recess.

"Essential liberty and defending America from those who would do her harm are not mutually exclusive goals," Holland said. "Congress needs to hear that message. And it will -- thanks to the leadership of Senators Dodd and Feingold and the tens of thousands of everyday citizens who believe that we should take our Constitution seriously."

USAction and TrueMajority.org build power by uniting people locally and nationally, on-the-ground and online, to win a more just and progressive America. We create the nation's leading progressive coalitions, making democracy work by organizing issue and election campaigns to improve people's lives.