Patriot Act II in trouble:
Advocates of rewriting the USA Patriot Act are claiming momentum after the House, despite a White House veto threat, voted to restrict investigators from using the anti-terrorism law to peek at library records and bookstore sales slips.
Wednesday’s 238-187 vote came as lawmakers ramped up efforts to extend the Patriot Act, which was passed quickly in the emotional aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. When Congress passed the law, it included a sunset provision under which 15 of the its provisions are to expire at the end of this year.
White House press secretary Scott McClellan said Thursday that weakening of the act could draw a veto from President Bush, who pressured Congress to renew all provisions of the law during a visit with Ohio police in Columbus last week.
“There’s still a long way to go in the legislative process and as he indicated last week, the president is going to continue urging Congress to renew and make permanent all provisions of the Patriot Act,” McClellan said. “They are all vital tools in our efforts to protect the American people and disrupt plots from happening.”
A veto for the Patriot Act and stem cell research. You gotta have priorities.