Obama to Vote for FISA Today

Posted July 9, 2008 at 9:56am

After taking substantial flak from liberal groups over his support for a terrorist surveillance bill, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) is expected to make good on his vow to vote for the measure this morning.

An Obama spokesman confirmed that the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee will be voting on the surveillance bill today. Obama is also expected to vote this afternoon on the Medicare “doctors’ fix.”

The Senate is expected to begin voting shortly after 11 a.m. on a rewrite of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Obama has said he will vote with civil libertarians to strip the bill of provisions giving telecommunications companies immunity from prosecution regarding their cooperation in the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program.

However, that amendment, sponsored by Sens. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) and Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), is expected to fail by a fairly wide margin, and Obama has said he will still support the underlying measure if the immunity provisions are retained.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said this morning that none of the votes on the bill are expected to be “close,” meaning the measure will likely be cleared for the president’s signature.