AOH :: PT-1243.HTM

Six senators say wording of Patriot Act renewal is "unacceptable"

Six senators say wording of Patriot Act renewal is "unacceptable"
Six senators say wording of Patriot Act renewal is "unacceptable"



A subset of the Patriot Act expires at the end of this year. Therefore 
the Bush administration is pushing Congress to renew them.

Background on the votes this summer on the different versions of the 
Patriot Act:
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d109:s.01389: 
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d109:H.R.3199: 

House vote for reauthorization in July (see how your 'critter voted):
http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2005/roll414.xml 

General background on the different sections of the Patriot Act:
http://www.patriotdebates.com/ 

The letter in question is excerpted below.

-Declan

--------------

http://epic.org/privacy/terrorism/usapatriot/senateletter_111705.pdf 

We write to express our deep concern about the draft Patriot Act 
reauthorization conference report made available to us early this 
afternoon. As you know, the Senate version of the bill, passed by 
unanimous consent in July, was itself a compromise that resulted from 
intense negotiations by Senators from all sides of the partisan and 
ideological divides. Unfortunately, the conference committee draft 
retreats significantly from the bipartisan consensus we reached in the 
Senate. It does not accomplish what we and many of our colleaguesin the 
Senatebelieveis necessary-- a reauthorization bill that continues to 
provide law enforcement with the tools to investigate possible terrorist 
activity while making reasonable changes to the original law to protect 
innocent people from unnecessary and intrusive government surveillance...

For the past several years, our bipartisan coalition has been working 
together to highlight and fix the civil liberties problems posed by the 
Patriot Act. We introduced the SAFE Act to address those problems, while 
still maintaining important law enforcement powers needed to combat 
terrorism. We cannot support a conference report that would eliminate 
the modest protections for civil liberties that were agreed to 
unanimously in the Senate.

The conference report, in its current form, is unacceptable. We hope 
that you, as members of the conference committee, will consider making 
the changes set forth above. If further changes are not made, we will 
work to stop this bill from becoming law. Thank you for your consideration.
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