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Patriot Act Postponed

The Senate on 12/21/05 approved a six-month extension of the Patriot Act in the face of a successful filibuster by a bipartisan group of lawmakers.(Later changed to a one month extension)

Beaten by a successful filibuster, the Bush administration and the Republican controlled Senate had to accept a six-month extension of the USA Patriot Act to keep the anti-terror law from expiring on Dec. 31. "This will allow more time to finally agree on a bill that protects our rights and freedoms while preserving important tools for fighting terrorism," said Sen. Russ Feingold , who was the only senator to vote against the original Patriot Act in 2001.

The bipartisan group of lawmakers who lead the filibuster were concerned about preserving civil liberties while protecting us from terrorist. Senators on both sides of the debate agree that some form of the antiterrorism law is necessary, but they differ deeply on how much latitude the government should be allowed as to searching homes and obtaining business, medical and library records of terrorism suspects.

"What we're trying to do is achieve a balanced and effective Patriot Act, one that promotes our security and preserves our freedom, a bill that's going to earn and deserve the widespread support of the American people," said Senator Patrick J. Leahy, the Vermont Democrat who led the filibuster and pushed for the extension.

Democratic and Republican leaders are confident the House will agree to the proposed time extension and thus end the debate until the next session as well as preventing  major provisions of the law from expiring on Dec. 31. (The time extension was later changed to one month)

Created by lsmithlas
Last modified January 13, 2006 06:57 AM

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