Thursday, December 22, 2005

Senate Votes to Extend Patriot Act for 6 Months

WaPo reported A much-debated domestic surveillance law won a reprieve last night when senators agreed to continue it for six months to allow House and Senate negotiators to resume efforts next year to rewrite it for the longer term.

The House and Senate passed different bills, and as is normally the case they had a conference committee to resolve the differences. The House gave the Senate most of what it wanted, and then they approved the compromise the committee came up with. The Senators Filibustering the bill were filibustering what their conference members agreed to; they were spoiled children just wanting everything to be exactly the way they wanted it.
Some top Democratic and Republican senators said they were confident the House would agree to the compromise to prevent major provisions of the USA Patriot Act from expiring on Dec. 31. The Senate approved the extension on a voice vote.

Critics say the proposed four-year renewal, which the House approved last week, is too slanted in the government's favor regarding national security letters and special subpoenas that give the FBI significant leeway in obtaining records. The targeted people should have a greater opportunity to challenge such subpoenas and the government should be required to show stronger evidence linking the items being sought to possible terrorism, they say.
In other words the Senate only wants to stop certain terrorists; they are willing to allow some get through and kill Americans. Let us just hope that they ones the let through decide to attack the Senate.
Now they have more time to press their case in the bill's rewrite.

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