To recap, Congress is divided over whether telcos should be held accountable for their role in warrantless wiretaps. (See Were Telcos Justified in Warrantless Wiretaps?) The Senate has passed a bill granting them retroactive immunity while the House has passed a bill that does not include such a provision. Rockefeller is the Democratic chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee who has gone against party lines in support of the immunity provision. Therefore any new bill passed by the House with his support could likely contain this immunity clause.
President Bush of course has said that he will veto any bill that does not grant immunity to telcos. But if such a thing had backing from the legislative branch, it would be a much more powerful endorsement of what the administration has been doing with the support of carriers for the past few years.
— Raymond McConville, Reporter, Light Reading