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A deal reached between Democrats and Republicans will revive the contentious law.


Senate Clears Way to Renew Patriot Act

A deal reached between Democrats and Republicans will revive the contentious law.

The Senate on Monday gave the green light to renew several provisions of the Patriot Act, but the measure is expected to face some opposition when it reaches the House later this week.

“It’s not a perfect law, but it plays an important role in keeping our country safe,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D.-Nev.).

The bill extends the use of certain law enforcement tools to catch terrorists and was first enacted after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington.

It allows for the search of certain business records, roving wiretaps, and surveillance on “lone wolf” actors planning attacks on the U.S.

The cloture vote passed 74 to 8 and clears the way for final passage in both chambers later this week.

“Given the indefinite threat we face from acts of terrorism, my views are we should permanently reauthorize the three expiring provisions,” said Sen. Chuck Grassley (R.-Iowa).

“They don’t like us.  They want to kill us, and we’ve got to prevent that,” Grassley said.

“Now is not the time to place new restrictions and high evidentiary standards on critical national security tools,” Grassley added.  “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

The Patriot Act is backed by Democrat and Republican leaders in the House and Senate, who reached an agreement last week to pass the reauthorization before it expires on Friday.

The legislation hit a hurdle in the House earlier this year when 27 Republicans broke ranks and sided with liberal Democrats to oppose the reauthorization.


Sen. Rand Paul (R.-Ky.) opposed the provisions and said that Americans were so frightened after Sept. 11, they allowed lawmakers to take away many of their freedoms.

“Some say that if you have nothing to hide, why do you care?” Paul said.  “It will not always be angels in charge of the government.  We want rules in case someone takes over the government intent on using these tools to pry into our … political affiliation or religious beliefs.”

To protect the U.S. against terrorist attacks, Sen. Dianne Feinstein said, “we as a nation rely on certain secret sources and methods.”

In light of the recent capture and killing of Osama bin Laden, the Patriot Act will be instrumental in following up on a treasure trove of intelligence collected from his hideout, she said.

“This is a time when our vigilance must be heightened as well,” Feinstein said.

“This provision may well prove critical to thwart new plots and find new terrorists,” Feinstein said.  “They must be renewed.”

Written By

Audrey Hudson is an award-winning investigative journalist whose enterprise reporting has sparked numerous congressional investigations that led to laws signed by Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. She won the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi award for Public Service in 2009 for her report on dangerous drug experiments by the federal government on war veterans, which prompted internal investigations and needed reforms within the Veterans Affairs Department. The report also captured first place for investigative reporting by the Washington, D.C. chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and was a finalist of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences Webby Awards for news and politics. Her breaking stories have been picked up and followed by major news publications and periodicals, including Readers Digest, Washington Monthly, and The Weekly Standard, as well as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Washington Post. With nearly 20 years of experience in Washington as a newspaper reporter and as a Capitol Hill staffer for Western lawmakers, she will now lead Human Events??? coverage of energy and environmental issues. A native of Kentucky, Mrs. Hudson has worked inside the Beltway for nearly two decades -- on Capitol Hill as a Senate and House spokeswoman, and most recently at The Washington Times covering Congress, Homeland Security, and the Supreme Court. Audrey???s email is AHudson@EaglePub.Co


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