The Senate approved a major revision of the 30-year-old law regulating the government's electronic surveillance program Wednesday, ending a debate that threatened to freeze intelligence operations.
The bill, which President Bush promised to sign, is designed to end at least 40 lawsuits against telecommunication companies that have aided the government.
Opponents said the bill codifies an unconstitutional program. The American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation vowed a court challenge.
"This program broke the law, and this president broke the law," said Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., a leading opponent. Senators will regret they passed the law if they learn more about the program, he said.