Thursday, December 15, 2005

PATRIOT ACT UPDATE

By Russ Feingold
Yesterday there was a press conference opposing the Patriot Act reauthorization bill headlining Bob Barr and the ACLU, an impromptu debate between Senator Specter and me, and announcements from Senators Reid and Leahy that they will oppose cloture. Today, the Senate may formally take up the conference report. Sen. Frist announced on the floor this morning that he will seek a time agreement to limit debate on the Patriot Act in the Senate. I will object to that. Extended debate on this reauthorization bill is needed.

This morning, the SAFE Act cosponsors released a "Dear Colleague" letter, laying out our objections to the conference report and pledging to vote against cloture. You'll see some new names on this letter - including Republican Senator Chuck Hagel.

Attorney General Gonzales has a Patriot Act op-ed in today's Washington Post. As you can see, it's filled with more of the same misleading rhetoric that the administration and the leadership in the House have been pushing in recent weeks. It fails to discuss the responsible, compromise bill that passed the Senate without a single objection earlier this year. And, rather than talk about the controversial, intrusive provisions of the Patriot Act, it focuses on the provisions that everyone supports.

Please continue to contact your Senators to urge them to oppose cloture and insist that a Patriot Act reauthorization bill include the modest but crucial reforms that we have recommended and keep sharing your thoughts with me here.


[UPDATE] Senator Feingold... is scheduled to appear on C-SPAN tomorrow morning (Dec 15) from 8:00 – 8:30 AM ET to talk about the Patriot Act and other issues.

Hat tip TPM

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