03/28/2008 02:45 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Telecoms And Bush Team Up For Another Drive For Wiretapping Immunity

Whether telecommunication utilities should have legal immunity for having helped the National Security Agency conduct eavesdropping without warrants emerged on Tuesday as the pivotal issue in the debate over wiretapping powers.

The Bush administration, urged by the telecommunication industry, is pushing hard for Congress to include immunity for past actions in any package to protect them from a series of civil suits.

House Democrats promised on Tuesday to block any deal for immunity unless the White House agreed to turn over internal records showing the utilities' role in the eavesdropping.

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