Yesterday, Congress passed a 15-day extension of the PROTECT Act, an intelligence surveillance law that temporarily amended FISA to permit warrantless wiretapping. The White House demanded a permanent extension of the Act, including an additional provision that would provide immunity for telecommunications companies that assisted the White House in extrajudicial eavesdropping on Americans without statutory authorization.
The Senate has been unable to agree upon amnesty for telecommunications carriers and whether to allow debate on amendments to the legislation. One issue of contention is the extent to which the administration should be permitted to wiretap Americans without judicial approval.
Additional background information is available here.