Patriot Act Extension Defeated

Provisions will end on December 31st.

Senate Blocks Extension of Patriot Act

The Senate on Friday rejected attempts to reauthorize several provisions of the USA Patriot Act as infringing too much on Americans’ privacy, dealing a major defeat to President Bush and Republican leaders.

In a crucial vote Friday morning as Congress raced toward adjournment, the bill’s Senate supporters were not able to garner the 60 votes necessary to overcome a threatened filibuster by Sens. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., and Larry Craig, R-Idaho, and their allies. The final vote was 52-47

Bush, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and GOP congressional leaders had lobbied fiercely to make most of the expiring Patriot Act provisions permanent, and add new safeguards and expiration dates to the two most controversial parts: roving wiretaps and secret warrants for books, records and other items from businesses, hospitals and organizations such as libraries.

The vote was 52 to 47 with a number of Republicans abandoning the party.

The 16 Patriot Act provisions expire on Dec. 31.

The measure fell eight short of the needed 60 to end debate and move to passage of it.

U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes

Republican Nay Votes:

Craig (R-ID)
Frist (R-TN)
Hagel (R-NE)
Sununu (R-NH)

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