NYT reports A tentative deal to extend the government's antiterrorism powers under the law known as the USA Patriot Act appeared in some jeopardy Thursday, as Senate Democrats threatened to mount a filibuster in an effort to block the legislation.
First we have a key Democrat urging immediate withdrawal of forces from Iraq, which would result in turning the country over to Al Qaeda, and now we have Democrats wanting to block renewal of the powers that have protected us since 9/11"This is worth the fight," Senator Russell D. Feingold, a Wisconsin Democrat who serves on the Judiciary Committee, said in an interview. "I've cleared my schedule right up to Thanksgiving," Mr. Feingold said, adding that he was making plans to read aloud from the Bill of Rights as part of a filibuster if necessary.
If these idiots do go forward with their filibuster, make them do a real filibuster, and keep tapes on everything they say. A lot of it will make for some really good campaign ads when (not if) there is an attack in the US that could have been prevented had the Patriot Act been renewed.The political maneuvering came even before negotiators for the House and Senate had agreed on a final deal to extend the government's counterterrorism powers under the act. With a tentative deal in place on Wednesday, Congressional negotiators had been expected to reach a final, printed agreement by early Thursday for the full House and Senate to consider. But despite minute-by-minute updates about a possible conclusion, the day passed on with no final agreement, causing no shortage of nervousness among Bush administration officials and Republican supporters of the tentative deal. By Thursday evening, officials said negotiators had reached what amounted to an impasse for the day, as those from the Senate pushed for further civil rights safeguards that were seen as unacceptable to House leaders. Talks are expected to pick up again on Friday, officials said. The tentative deal reached by negotiators would make permanent 14 of the 16 provisions of the law that are set to expire at the end of the year. The remaining two provisions - related to government demands for records from businesses and libraries and its use of roving wiretaps - would have to be reconsidered in seven years, as would a separate provision on taking aim at people suspected of being "lone wolf" terrorists.