December 16, 2005 10:34 AM PST

Senate rebuffs Bush on Patriot Act

Handing a stiff rebuke to President Bush, the U.S. Senate on Friday refused to end the filibuster that is blocking a four-year extension of the Patriot Act.

In a 52-to-47 vote, the Senate failed to reach the 60-person majority required to cut off a filibuster and force a vote on the Republican-backed extension of the portions of the controversial law that are set to expire on Dec. 31.

The vote makes it more likely that lawmakers will enact an alternate proposal, backed by critics of the Patriot Act, that would extend those 16 sections for only three months. That would yield additional time for negotiations when senators return from their holiday vacation in January.

"The leaders of this Congress need to figure out a way to change this (legislation) to address the important civil liberties issues that I and other Senators from both sides of the aisle have discussed over the past three days," said Sen. Russ Feingold, a Wisconsin Democrat, who was the lone dissenter when the Senate approved the original Patriot Act a month after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

Earlier, Bush and his Republican allies claimed that national security would at stake unless lawmakers renewed the Patriot Act without changes. These changes would increase oversight of, and include some limitations on, how the law's surveillance powers can be used.

An article in The New York Times on Friday gave critics of the law additional ammunition. It revealed that in 2002, Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans without seeking court-approved warrants.

Bush and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales had fiercely lobbied for a four-year extension of the Patriot Act without the reforms that critics had demanded. Among the 16 sections scheduled to expire are ones that expanded secret methods the FBI can use to obtain business records; authorized more information-sharing between Internet service providers and police; and listed computer hacking as an offense permitting increased eavesdropping.

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives approved the four-year extension by a 251-to-174 vote.

A fluid coalition of senators had pressed for reforms. Those included Patrick Leahy of Vermont and fellow Democrats Richard Durbin of Illinois, Carl Levin of Michigan, Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, John Rockefeller of West Virginia, Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, and Kenneth Salazar of Colorado. The Republicans include John Sununu of New Hampshire, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, and Larry Craig of Idaho.

30 comments

Join the conversation!
Add your comment
Oh well, at least the Senate is on the ball?
Oh well, there is some hope for democracy yet?,as they saw the unwanted extra draconian amendments unnecessary, to the function of the bill!

Undoubtedly, we will now see the extreme right wingers, using Fox Media, come out swinging with every piece of misinformation and other KARL ROVE arms length dirty third texas party roundhouse style tatics, to slag these good senators, who are trying to do the right thing!
Posted by heystoopid (691 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Bad Dog, Karl
Isn't he going to be frog-marched out of the
White House real soon now?

That special prosecutor guy seems pretty
determined to get him, and Karl hasn't been
seen in public much lately. He hasn't even
showed up to receive payoffs from his friends
in the H1-B lobbyist community. . .

I'd say that Mr. Rove is too busy to slag for
the "Patriot Act" at this time.
Posted by (139 comments )
Link Flag
Patriot Act stoppage
The terrorist-appeasing side of the Senate once again ignored any and all possible threats against our country by the terrorists bent on destroying us by rejecting the Patriot Act yesterday. Pogo once said in the Walt Kelly comic strip, "We have met the enemy and he is us!" This Senate vote just proved that statement in grand form.
Posted by Scottiebill (1 comment )
Link Flag
Fox news
Fox news is not allied with the extreme right. I do think they lean more to the right then cnn and msnbc, but please don't exaggerate so much. And by the way, cnn and msnbc lean slightly to the left, so even if a news agency is is in the middle, they are still to the right of cnn.
Posted by stealt403 (48 comments )
Link Flag
Finally
I'm glad it's being stopped somewhere. Although chances are that a 3 month extension will go through and they will try again next year.
Posted by ozziegt (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Go Senate!
I often do not like the Democrats but they are doing an excellent job stopping this unconstitutional act! They have my approval to put an end to the patriot act. But, he will just cause a new war with Iran and implement martial law.
Posted by BattleAce7101 (51 comments )
Reply Link Flag
boarders
Bush says that National security is at stake but he leaves the boarders wide open!
Posted by BattleAce7101 (51 comments )
Link Flag
Small problem
Many of these senators are the ones that offered no objection the first time around and created this constitutional mess.

If they had done their jobs right, this would not be an issue today. Heck if they had stood up to him in 2001, we might not be in a pointless and illegal war that has nothing to do with fighting terrorism, all the while Bin Laden has never even been in danger from us.

The fact is that Bush had a ton a power after 9/11 because of legit fear and the fear mongering done by him and his administration, and the senators just went along. Now that most people have seen Bush as the immoral, corrupt,incompetant moron that he is, and his popularity rating is in the toilet, these worthless senators have found a little backbone.

4 years too late. Everyone who voted for the treaonous patriot act should not only be voted out of office, but in jail on charges of treason.
Posted by Bill Dautrive (1179 comments )
Link Flag
Come on down
Let's welcome all those terrorists onboard. I only wish that would target those Senators and not me next.
Posted by UnwelcomeAmerican (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Coward
You think taking away our freedoms makes us safer and is worth it if it is true.

Cowardice is not an american value.
Posted by Bill Dautrive (1179 comments )
Link Flag
Come off it
Oh yes, throwing away petty civil liberties like the ability to be free from government surveillance--unless it is duly warranted--is nothing. Have you read any part of the U.S. Constitution? The US Patriot Act violates several portions of it. Do you really not care?
Posted by TimeBomb (70 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Patriot act was supposed to replace the constitution
Have you not heard? A lot of people think that the constitution is obsolete and really too permissive. They want the patriot act to replace it.

Maybe they want to change the name from United States of America (USA...) to Union of Sorry State Realities (USSR)
Posted by aabcdefghij987654321 (1721 comments )
Link Flag
While we are on the Constitution. . .
How about we get rid of all the ridiculous rulings that have taken
power away from the States under the auspices of the Interstate
Commerce clause? It is amazing the rhetorical back-flips people
will do to justify consolidating federal power.

How about that non-existent right to privacy? How about free
speech being extended to cover anything you feel like doing?
How about Congress shall have sole power to declare war?
"Police" and "Humanitarian" actions are pure BS.

When Ginsburg started citing international law in her decisions
she should have been impeached on the spot.
Posted by sbwinn (216 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Agreed
Any power that is not expressly granted to the federal government belongs solely to the states. Some people seem to have forgotten that important clause, and it was deemed important because too mauch power is corrupting as the founders knew and feared, and their worst fears have been realized.

Although I have to admit that I think things like meat inspections and other federal checks on corporate abuse are good. This wasn't an issue in 1776, but corporations have shown they can not be trusted to not harm people or the enviroment if there is a fast buck to be made in doing so.
Posted by Bill Dautrive (1179 comments )
Link Flag
What do you mean, "not in the constitution?"
Try reading the 9th Amendment- "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."
There is your right to privacy!
Contrary to the miserly interpretations of "strict constructionists" (sic), the Constitution grants rights not specifically mentioned.
In reality Bush had secretly made the debate over the "Patriot Act" moot by signing an illegal executive order allowing the NSA to wiretap and monitor within the borders of the United States and against American citizens. This information follows on the heels of multiple court rulings against the use of cellphone tracking without court warrants that Federal Agencies have engaged in. Also it has come to light recently that various military intelligence agencies have recently been allowed to gather and share intelligence on Americans within this countries borders.
I think it's time to consider impeachment against this lawless Bush regime.
Posted by zanxxx (5 comments )
Link Flag
Maybe the media pulled the wool over our eyes. They've been known to do it
Maybe the Senate did pass the extension on the Patriot Act permanently and the media is just saying that they didn't to make us think our Senators actually care.
Posted by casper2004 (267 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Why?
That wouldn't really work unless you are suggesting they also engineered a fake vote on C-SPAN too, which would take a lot of energy and time and would just be easier to just tell the truth. Besides, to some people that would send a message to people that the senators don't care about their safety because they don't support security. I'm not one of those people, but I'm just saying they are out there.
Posted by bobthepirate (5 comments )
Link Flag
Why?
That wouldn't really work unless you are suggesting they also engineered a fake vote on C-SPAN too, which would take a lot of energy and time and would just be easier to just tell the truth. Besides, to some people that would send a message to people that the senators don't care about their safety because they don't support security. I'm not one of those people, but I'm just saying they are out there.
Posted by bobthepirate (5 comments )
Link Flag
maybe....
I am a hyper intelligent rock that grew hands and figured out how to type this sentance, and you finaly gave me the chance to.
Posted by Bob Brinkman (556 comments )
Link Flag
 

Join the conversation

Add your comment

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Click here to review our Terms of Use.

What's Hot

Discussions

Shared

RSS Feeds

Add headlines from CNET News to your homepage or feedreader.