Patriot Act on Life Support

“A stalemate in the Senate would leave the FBI and National Security Agency (NSA) without powers they have used to track terrorists for years, say supporters of the Patriot Act,” The Hill reports.

“Without action by the end of the month, key provisions of the Patriot Act will expire, which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) argues would put the United States at a pre September 11, 2001-footing… Observers say it’s increasingly looking like the standoff could result in no action by Congress, which would mean the Patriot Act provisions would lapse.”

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  • Rebecca

    OK- and the bad news is? I’d rather see Congress and the President start with a clean slate and come up with something that protects the civil liberties of the American people, rather than simply renew the knee-jerk reaction monstrosity that was passed in the aftermath of 9/11.

    • Zornorph

      I think what I have always objected to most about this legislation was it’s name. If they would have called it the ‘Security Act’ or something – fine – but to suggest that by voting against something that so infringed on civil liberties, you were not a ‘patriot’? Disgusting.

      • agreed, especially comsidering USA PATRIOT is just another cheesy contrived congressional acronym.

    • oldhandatthis

      The intelligence agencies and police forces have themselves to blame, their overreach and outright abuse of the law brought them to this point.

    • embo66

      Exactly. Make them — and the nation — debate just what we do need to protect our overall security and thwart terrorists. It’s time we did that, rather than continuing the knee-jerk, overwrought, and poorly thought-out overreaction we had to 9-11 — and then enshrined in this lousy legislation.

  • Becklev

    Let it lapse. I’ve never liked it, or even thought it was necessary.

  • 66kicks

    This and the transportation funding bill, which also lapses at the end of the month, were two big reasons why Harry Reid didn’t want to debate Fast Track authority for the Trans Pacific Partnership trade bill. And bad as the Patriot Act may have been in terms of limiting privacy and civil liberties it is a starting point for debating what we need to do to secure our nation.

  • HML

    The Patriot Act is as wrongly named as the ACA.