PATRIOT Act provisions extended for four more years

May 26, 2011

Posted by Matt Ehling

National press outlets are reporting that Congress has voted to extend provisions of the USA PATIORT Act for another four years.

According to reports, Senators Rand Paul and Harry Reid have been sparring over amendments that Paul has offered to curb PATRIOT Act powers, including an amendment that would prohibit PATRIOT Act authorities for being used to acquire firearm records, and an amendment that would require minimization of data seized under Section 215 of the Act.

Yesterday, Reid challenged Paul on the Senate floor, implying that his amendments would embolden terrorists. Of Paul, Reid said that, “The Senator from Kentucky is threatening to take away the best tools we have for stopping” terrorism.

What is notable about Reid’s statement is this: The same rhetoric was used against PATRIOT Act critics during the eight years of the Bush administration, with Republicans on the offensive. Now – with the White House in the hands of a Democrat – it is the Democrats who are employing the standard line of attack.