Thursday, February 02, 2006

Patriot Act Extended 'till March 10

from Bloomberg

Feb. 2 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Senate voted to extend the USA Patriot Act until March 10, giving lawmakers more time to negotiate revisions in the anti-terrorism law.

The 95-1 Senate vote follows the approval of the same extension by the House yesterday. The extension now needs the approval of President George W. Bush, who previously signed legislation to extend the law until tomorrow.

``The president thinks it's important to have the Patriot Act in place, and we should not go a single day without it,'' White House spokesman Trent Duffy said.

The Senate, which has focused for the past few weeks on the Supreme Court confirmation of Samuel Alito, has balked at a House-backed plan to revise the law. House provisions giving the Federal Bureau of Investigation more power to wiretap and track terrorist suspects have prompted attacks from some senators who say such authority would threaten individual liberties.

``I hope this will allow us to make the final improvements necessary,'' said Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, the senior Democrat on the Judiciary Committee. Senator Russell Feingold, a Wisconsin Democrat, was the only lawmaker to vote against the extension today.

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