Friday, December 16, 2005

Patriot Act Thwarted

Senator Feingold, Democrat from Wisconsin, deserves major props for this victory. He was the lone Senator to vote against the Patriot Act in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. Even then, he understood that there should be careful consideration given to the boundaries of privacy that the government wished to blur. Since then, he was worked hard to defeat its renewal.
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.

Making most of the act's provisions permanent was a priority for both the Bush administration and Republican leaders on Capitol Hill before Congress adjourns for the year.

As I mentioned in a comment over at Liberal Street Fighter, the more I learn about Senator Feingold, the more inclined I am to support a 2008 Presidential bid. He is proving to be a master negotiator while at the same time refusing to compromise his values. That takes real leadership, something that has been lacking for the past several years on both sides of the aisle.

Congratulations Russ!

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