Jul 09 2008

Statement from U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) on Passage of the FISA Bill

WASHINGTON-  U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made the following statement on the passage of H.R. 6304, the FISA Amendments Act of 2008.  The bill amends FISA and allows the United States to continue to monitor overseas phone calls of suspected terrorists while protecting the rights of American citizens.  Senator Graham voted for the bill which passed the Senate 69-28.

“Senator Obama is at it again on FISA.  He’s trying to have it both ways—saying he supports a bipartisan bill while trying to kill it.  Senator Obama voted to strip out the heart and soul of this bipartisan deal, legal immunity for telecommunications companies who cooperated with the federal government to monitor the overseas phone calls of suspected terrorists.  Senator Obama continues to demonstrate that in his world bipartisanship means that the other side gives and he takes.

“If the Dodd amendment to strip legal immunity had passed, an idea supported only by the far left, there would have been no deal.  Without this bipartisan agreement our terrorist surveillance program would cease to be effective, exposing out country to many dangers.

“I am pleased that 66 Senators, both Republicans and Democrats, voted to reject the Dodd amendment that would have unraveled the bipartisan agreement.  I am disappointed, but not surprised, that Senator Obama could not muster the courage to do likewise.

“Despite efforts to kill this agreement, the Senate has risen above political gamesmanship to make our country safer.  This bill will provide American law enforcement and intelligence agencies with the tools they need to monitor terrorist suspects overseas and win the global war on terror.”