Patriot Act Extension Expected Today


Despite last week's encouraging vote, which required 2/3, failing to extend certain Patriot Act provisions, it will probably go through today on a straight majority vote. Some details from The Hill:

House Republicans are poised to pass an extension of the Patriot Act on Monday evening after a procedural snafu sent the measure down to defeat last week….A vote on the extension is expected Monday evening.

The measure was defeated last week when Republican leadership attempted to force it through on a fast-track procedure that required a two-thirds majority. Monday evening's vote will require only a simply majority and is almost certain to pass.

David Nalle of the Republican Liberty Caucus calls on citizens to ask their congressmen to vote no:

Three key sections of the PATRIOT Act are up for renewal. They provide for roving wiretaps without true search warrants, government access to private business records, searches of private property without notice and covert access to electronic data without any due process or oversight. Together they give the government unprecedented access to your private information without going through the Constitutionally mandated legal processes which are supposed to protect your privacy.

They were passed with a requirement that they be reviewed and renewed regularly because at the time the Congress realized that they were fundamental attacks on individual liberty and violations of our Constitutionally protected rights under the 4th Amendment. The mood at the time was one of fear and anger and some people felt that the threat of terrorism justified such extreme measures. Today you need to ask yourself whether this dreadful compromise of your rights on the basis of nothing but fear was justifiable….

The Bill of Rights exists for a reason and it has become clear that there is no threat to this nation from terrorism or other sources which justifies giving up the protections of the 4th Amendment. The only real target of this misguided legislation seems to be the citizens themselves, and that kind of government meddling and intrusion is unacceptable in a free society.

More on what provisions of the Act are at issue from last year when they were last up for renewal.

Sen. Rand Paul gets all historical in a great speech against the extension, and against a lot about the PATRIOT Act in general: