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Bush Praises US Congress for Cooperation on FISA, War Funding

By VOA News
20 June 2008

U.S. President George Bush has praised Congress for its bipartisan cooperation on domestic surveillance and new war funding.

At the White House Friday, Mr. Bush called on the House of Representatives to pass the domestic surveillance legislation Friday. He urged the Senate to take it up quickly.

House and Senate leaders agreed on a compromise bill Thursday.

The measure, which permits the government to eavesdrop on the communications of suspected terrorists without first obtaining a court's permission, could also protect telecommunications companies from lawsuits stemming from their involvement in the controversial warrantless surveillance.

Federal judges could dismiss lawsuits if companies can show they received written certifications that the White House asked for their participation and assured them of the legality of the surveillance.

Mr. Bush also said he was pleased Congress passed what he called a responsible war funding bill that gives American troops the funds they need without timetables for withdrawal from Iraq.

By a wide margin Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives approved more than $160 billion in funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Senate is expected to vote on the measure in coming days.

The speaker of the House of Representatives, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, said she is disappointed the bill did not include a timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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