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Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Despite Obama's Support, Patriot Act Extension Fails in House

An Unholy Alliance of Tea Party Republicans, joined by Democrats, yesterday defeated a brief extension of the Patriot Act through December 8, 2011. A gleeful Nancy Pelosi, happy at the defeat of a measure supported by President Obama, issued a one-word news release. "Disarray?"

LV Congressman Charlie Dent, who supports an extension, believes The Patriot Act provides important tools in the war against terror.

“By encouraging greater cooperation between domestic law enforcement agencies and our nation’s sophisticated intelligence community, these provisions have provided homeland security officials with the capabilities they need to protect the American people from terrorist attacks,” Dent said in a news release.

When enacted in 2001, the mission of the USA PATRIOT Act was to provide appropriate government officials the authority and tools to track, arrest and prosecute terrorists who sought to harm Americans. The three provisions reauthorized in H.R. 514 are amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978 (P.L. 95-511), the statutory framework for lawful intelligence activities.

Provisions set to expire at the end of the month currently give the FBI the ability to seek Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court approval to access tangible items connected to individuals involved in foreign intelligence or terrorism cases, and use multipoint wiretaps, which help officials keep pace with terrorists who use numerous communications devices to avoid detection. The bill also reauthorizes a provision that modifies the definition of an “agent of a foreign power” to include a foreign terrorist working as a so-called "lone wolf" – an individual who may not have a formal affiliation with a foreign state or terrorist organization.

In early 2010, the U.S. House extended these provisions for an additional year. President Obama's administration supported the 2010 and the proposed extension now, stating they provide “authorities that our nation's intelligence and law enforcement agencies need to protect our national security.”


Patrick McHenry said...

Bernie -

The real story is not the relatively few "Tea Party Republicans" that opposed the extension.

The bigger story is the large amount of opposition that President Obama - who favored a 3 year extension of the provisions - received from so many of his own party.

Some are calling it the first step toward a primary challenge for the President in 2012.

Anonymous said...

"Some are calling it the first step toward a primary challenge for the President in 2012."

Hopefully somebody on the left challenges Obama so we can finally put to rest this false notion that Obama is a wacko liberal. He is showing to be more in tune with the main stream of America while the right and the left fight over their extremist and special-interest filled agendas. A challenge from the left, or a GOP nominated Sarah Palin, would ensure an obama 2nd term.

Anonymous said...

patriot act was one of the worst evasive laws to spy on the people with little or no consequence to the feds

RS said...

Bush pushed this act through a devastated Congress that gave it little thought. To have opposed this blatant infringement on our rights would have been regarded as extremely unpatriotic. That Obama backs it lends credence to the theory that as far as the rights of Americans and foreign policy, Obama is just an extension of the Bush regime.
Anybody find any WMDs in Iraq yet?
Anybody buying into a victory in Afghanistan being just around the corner?

Anonymous said...

The real story is that the Patriot Act was just a horrible piece of legislation that invades our civil rights. Shame that Charlie Dent doesn't care about the rights of his constituents. Ironic that we go to war for other people's freedom yet our representatives can vote to restrict our freedom.

And "Patrick McHenry," seriously, you seem so caught up in politics that he cannot see right from wrong.

Jacob said...

The Patriot Act like most legislation in the past 30 years has a few good provisions with a few ridiculous provisions and some provisions that are just simply out of step with the fundamentals this country was founded on.

Like HIPAA, GLB, Sarbanes Oxley, Medicare Part D, No Child Left Behind, and the Health Care Reform bill, the few good provisions are used to justify things that a vast majority of the American people would never accept from the Federal Government.

It is a con game the congress has been playing on the American people for 30 years, because most of the congress is a bunch of crooks.

Extend the provisions that protect national security and are in line with our foundations as a nation and ditch the bullshit.

Rather simple

Unknown said...

Hello, I am an intern with the Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce. I am reaching out to you regarding your views about the Patriot Act. We have a debate show called Business Matters which airs every Monday at 7:30pm on WFMZ. We were wondering if you would like to be apart of the show. Please email me if interested at intern4@lehighvalleychamber.org