Sunsetting PATRIOTism…or Just Giving Up?


The four GOP senators–Sununu (N.H.); Hagel (Neb.), Craig (Idaho); and Murkowski (Alaska)–who held up upper-chamber renewal of The Patriot Act are ready to sign on after getting "civil liberties protections…regarding the issuance of secret national security subpoenas and federal searches of library records," reports the Washington Times. The amendments to the bill have also brought Dem Sens. Durbin (Ill.) and Feinstein (Cal.) on board, effectively killing the Donkey Party filibuster of same.

"It is a substantial improvement," Mrs. Feinstein said of the new version. "I think it's important to get this done. And there is a four-year sunset, so we will be able to watch it closely."

Minority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, signaled optimism as well.

"I commend my Republican colleagues for working hard to make the Patriot Act better," he said after the agreement was announced. "Democrats strongly believe we must have all necessary tools to fight terrorism, but we want checks and balances to ensure that these expansive powers are not abused. The deal reached by my Republican colleagues appears to be a step in the right direction."

Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.), the only senator to vote against the original Patriot Act, said the changes don't amount to much and that he'll still oppose the renewal (which will be rubber-stamped by the House of Representatives if and when it clears the Senate).

Whole account here.

Reason on Patriot Act Politics here and here.

Sununu Jr. (say that fast!) a better man (read: more libertarian) than his father here.