Chris Dodd to block FISA bill

The Connecticut senator puts a "hold" on legislation granting amnesty to telecoms.

Published October 18, 2007 7:20PM (EDT)

Barack Obama has turned up the rhetorical heat lately, looking for a way to differentiate himself from Hillary Clinton; Chris Dodd just found one. Dodd sent an e-mail announcing he'll block the new FISA bill, which would extend amnesty to telecommunications firms that provided information on customers to the federal government without a court order. He's asking people to come to his Web site to support what he's doing, here.

Dodd put a "hold" on the bill, which effectively blocks it from coming to a vote, since legislation traditionally needs unanimous consent by the Senate to be considered. Dodd has been strong on the issue traditionally; he's also courting the liberal blogosphere, which is rightly outraged about the Democrats' FISA cave-in. So the Connecticut senator with the long-shot presidential bid could do well for himself politically while doing good. (And Salon gave his book "Letters From Nuremberg" four FDRs (that's a rave!) in our review of candidates' books. Sen. Chris Dodd: Best day on the presidential campaign trail, ever. So far. We'll bring you more later today.

By Joan Walsh

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