So... what's going on with FISA? Check out the liveblogging on DailyKos and I'll be back with an update after the cloture vote at 4:30 today. It will be interesting to see how this issue is discussed tonight in the State of the Union--sources show that it's pretty much certain to be mentioned.
Senate voted against cloture. This means they voted to extend debate, NOT to limit debate. This is great because it means folks will still be able to discuss the potential implications of the retroactive immunity provision (i.e., that it will then be declared legal for the Administration to circumvent the law and for companies to spy on their customers without consequence).
Next up, a vote on whether to extend the legislation for 30 days in order to come up with legislation that actually addresses Americans' privacy concerns while also adequately protecting us. Reid says:
An extension will give the Senate time to fully debate this complex issue and pass a longer-term bill that protects America without compromising the privacy of law-abiding Americans. Both the Intelligence Committee bill and the Judiciary Committee bill authorize the same surveillance tools our intelligence community needs. Democrats and Republicans stand together on all of the terrorism-fighting components of this bill. Let's remember - a temporary extension would guarantee all the terrorism-fighting tools remain in effect. There is absolutely no policy or security problem with an extension. All it would do is give us more time to work toward working this out in an uninterrupted basis. There is no reason to vote against an extension - or for the President to veto one- - except for political posturing.
No majority vote so the motion for extension didn't make it. That means that the bill will just plain ol' expire. It looks like Senate will reconvene at 8:30 tonight.