House Offers <b>One</b> Month Extension of Patriot Act, Rejecting Senate's Six Month Plan

The House of Representatives agreed to extend a controversial domestic surveillance law this afternoon, but it limited the extension to one month and rejected a carefully brokered compromise from the Senate that had given the law a six-month reprieve. Looks like the Republicans will not get their automatic four year extension as hoped. News from the Washington Post .

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pay cut

These people should get a pay cut for the amount of political infighting that went on this week. That majors issues get shunted around at the last minute is a disgrace. Only in government can you do that and get away with it.

Re:pay cut

It would have been better had they gone on strike in DC and the NYC transit workers gone to work :)

Extension isn't long enough

I'm very disappointed that Rep. Sensenbrenner forced Congress into a one-month extension of USAPA. To me it signals an unwillingness to give this this act the extensive open hearings, open statistical reporting and open debate that it deserves. I'm predicting that the House and Senate leadership will delay any action on USAPA renewal until the last week of January and make another effort to pass the flawed mono-partisan conference report under the same sense of false urgency they tried this time around. Thankfully my state has a patriot like Sen. Lisa Murkowski who puts traditonal liberties over party loyalty or fear-mongering.A six month extension may well have been too long. I would have gone for three months myself. But a month that must also contain Supreme Court confirmation hearings for the Senate is too short a time for an intellectually honest and open debate of such a broad law.To those, like Vice-President Cheney, say that USAPA is why we haven't been hit since 2001, I'd like to point out that there were no foreign terror attacks on US soil between 1993 and 2001. During that time we know Islamist terrorists were trying to hit us because we foiled the Millenium bombing plot. Just because we haven't been hit yet doesn't mean that USAPA is the answer to terror.I'd also like to see the President and his supporters stop with the "we can't afford to be w/o USAPA for even a moment" rhetoric." First, it's dissonant with their claim that Article II of the Constitution allows the President to set aside laws he finds burdensome. Second, and more importantly, we will eventually have another terror attack on US soil. As Secretary Rice said in November 2005, "But the terrorists only have to be right once. We have to be right 100 percent of the time." The question before us isn't whether to have a law to stop terror, it's about what kind of society we want to have that will have many problems, including some level of terrorism. Will we be intimated into allowing the executive any powers for a "war" that even the President's supporters say will basically last forever? Or will we choose to live free and accept the risks that come with that freedom?

Related topic - NSA program mythology debunked

I ran across what seems to be a well documented list of Top 12 media myths and falsehoods on the Bush Administration's spying scandal, including the claim that President Bush is merely carrying on the practices of Presidents Carter and Clinton.If the President's theory that his so-called inherent power allows him to set aside all other law is allowed to stand, all Americans will be sorry no matter what party holds the Presidency. When one individual is the law, we all lose.

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