26 May 2011

Patriot Act renewal inserted into "Small Business Bill"

Senator Rand Paul (R- KY) stunned everyone yesterday when he announced that he intended to filibuster the planned four year extension of the Patriot Act if the Congress did not agree to debate possible amendments.

The suggestion that the extension should be debated fueled considerable opposition, particularly from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D – CA), who insisted it would be a “huge mistake” to debate the bill and might threaten national security.

Fortunately for Sen. Feinstein, the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D – NV) sprang into action, and found a way to prevent any such debate from taking place. Instead of passing the Patriot Act the Senate has now slipped the entire extension into a “small business bill” which cannot be filibustered.

The Patriot Act provisions are scheduled to expire at the end of the week, but are expected to be rubber stamped by Congress, barring any unforseen inconveniences, like a public debate of the controversial provisions.
From Antiwar.com, via Reddit.


  1. It is worthy to note that Paul wanted a discussion on a provision that would allow federal agencies access to gun records without court approval. I don't really like the idea of the PATRIOT Act, but there's a lot more to this story than meets the eye.

  2. Matt,

    And what would be a valid reason for federal agencies to access gun records without court approval?

    For all the reasons I can think of, acquiring a court order would be trivial.

    What about the other amendments? Concerning roving wiretaps, suspicious activity Reports, and National Security Letters. Even if you disagree with these amendments shouldn't congress at least be discussing it? Why the rush?

  3. Just another nail in the coffin. As written in Mad magazine decades ago, "Taxation with representation isn't so hot either"

  4. What do people have to hide?

    Shortly after an agreement was announced, Senate aides released a letter from the National Rifle Association in which the influential gun group said it decided not to take a position on the amendment.

    Even the NRA doesn't care.


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