Senate Rejcts Extension of Patriot Act

Contrary to the wishes of President Bush and the Executive branch, the Senate has refused to approve the extension of the Patriot Act that recently won victory in the House of Representatives. Senator Russell Feingold of Wisconsin pictured in this ABC News story lead the filibuster. If an extension is not voted in, the Act in its entirety will expire on the last day of the year, but investigators will still be able to pursue any
investigations begun before that time.

Another longer story in eweek offers several Senators explains for their actions: ” “I went to bed last night unsure how to vote on this legislation,” said Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. “Today’s revelation that the government listened in on hundreds of phone conversations without getting a warrant is shocking. There ought to be discussion. There ought to be debate.”

Calling the secret order an example of “Big Brother run amok,” Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., said that more oversight of police powers is needed.

“For past three years this administration has been eavesdropping on hundreds of calls without warrants or oversight,” Kennedy said. “This administration feels it is above the law.”