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The NYTimes Says Congressional Republicans are maneuvering to make permanent the sweeping antiterrorism powers granted to federal law enforcement agents after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
When it passed in October 2001, moderates and civil libertarians in Congress agreed to support it only by making many critical provisions temporary. Those provisions will expire, or "sunset," at the end of 2005 unless Congress re-authorizes them.
"The Patriot Act has been an extremely useful tool, a demonstrated success, and we don't want that to expire on us," a senior department official said on condition of anonymity.