Bush Praises House FISA Deal and War Funding Vote

President Bush on Friday praised a deal reached in the Democratic-led House to update the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and the House's approval of funding for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Bush said the FISA update will both help intelligence agencies monitor terror activities and protect civil liberties. The compromise, reached Thursday, includes a way for telecom companies who took part in the president's domestic wiretapping program to obtain immunity from lawsuits. Most Democrats had opposed retroactive immunity.

"My Director of National Intelligence and the Attorney General tells me that this is a good bill," Bush said. "It will help our intelligence professionals learn our enemies' plans for new attacks. It ensures that those companies whose assistance is necessary to protect the country will themselves be protected from liability for past or future cooperation with the government."

The House is scheduled to vote on the measure Friday.

The House also approved a $162 billion war funding bill on Thursday. Bush called it a "responsible" bill that will provide "vital resources" to those on the front lines.

"This legislation gives our troops the funds they need to prevail without tying the hands of our commanders in the field or imposing artificial timetables for withdrawal," he said.

The bill also guarantees money for troops to attend a public university, a measure that was championed by Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.). Bush and Republican presidential candidate John McCain had offered their own education benefits package, but Webb's proposal gained more bipartisan support.