Renewal of Patriot Act

With the latest wave of terror being cast on London’s bus and underground train network, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation (7/21/05) to amend and strengthen the USA Patriot Act. Introduced by Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wisconsin), H.R. 3199 makes permanent 14 of 16 provisions due to expire next year. The remaining two will remain valid for another ten years.

This bill was strongly challenged by Rep. Rick Boucher, (D-Virginia), who proposed to limit the provisions to only four more years. This amendment failed with a vote of 209-218. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) also opposes The Act because of the enormous powers given to law enforcement that are in violation of the U. S. Constitution. The House Rules Committee rejected the majority of the amendments proposed by ACLU.

Of interest to libraries and library patrons is House Amendment 489. Introduced by Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, this amendment requires the FBI director to approve any and all requests for library and bookstore records. This was passed with a vote of 402-26.

H.R. 3199, praised by President Bush as a key part of our efforts to combat terrorism and protect the American people, was approved with a vote of 257-171. The bill will now move to the Senate.

The text of the bill can be found at THOMAS. Non-partisan coverage of Congress can be found in the CQ Weekly database.

[This news posting was authored by La Loria Kontata, Subject Librarian for Policy Studies and Political Science]

*Author ID: 167 Author name: Jake*

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