Friday, February 03, 2006
AP: 2nd short Patriot Act extension passed
By LAURIE KELLMAN, Associated Press Writer -- Fri Feb 3, 1:42 AM ET
WASHINGTON - Congress senta second five-week extension of the Patriot Act as Senate negotiators worked to close a deal with the White House on renewing the antiterrorism law with some new civil liberties protections.
"We need the Patriot Act," said Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter. "I'm prepared to work on it further to improve it."
Sixteen provisions of the 2001 law were to have expired last Dec. 31, but Congress extended them until Friday after Democrats and a handful of Senate Republicans demanded an avenue of appeals when themakes demands for people's financial and other private records.
The Senate voted 95-1 Thursday night to extend the current law unchanged through March 10 and give negotiators more time to reach a deal. Sen. Russell Feingold, D-Wis., right, a longtime opponent of the Patriot Act, cast the sole vote against the extension. The House passed it Wednesday.
Several Republican and Democratic officials involved in negotiations said that agreements had been reached on several issues but that others needed more time.
Earlier in the week, Sen. Larry Craig (news, bio, voting record), R-Idaho, one of the negotiators who helped block the act's renewal last year, told reporters almost all of his concerns had been worked out with the White House.
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