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House Republicans contest Obama’s use of autopen

WASHINGTON — Twenty-one Republican House members wrote President Barack Obama on Friday, asking him to promise to never again use a long-distance “autopen” to sign a bill. Last month, Congress authorized an extension of the post-9/11 Patriot Act just 15 minutes before the expiration of key provisions allowing for controversial…

Senator Rand Paul slams GOP for blocking efforts to amend PATRIOT Act

Freshman Republican Senator Rand Paul (KY) lashed out at the leadership of his own party, blaming them for preventing debate on the extension of the PATRIOT Act, which the Senate passed Thursday. “I’ve been working for two long days filibustering the PATRIOT Act in hopes that we can have a…

Senate votes to extend controversial provisions of PATRIOT Act

WASHINGTON — The US Senate voted 72 to 23 Thursday to extend controversial counter-terrorism search and surveillance powers at the heart of the Patriot Act adopted after the September 11, 2001 attacks. In a procedural move, US lawmakers voted to end debate on the subject which would allow them to pass…

Senators Leahy, Paul propose expanded oversight of PATRIOT Act

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced an amendment to the PATRIOT Act on Monday that attempts to safeguard American’s civil liberties by increasing oversight of government surveillance powers. The Leahy-Paul amendment [PDF] requires an expansion of public reporting on the use of…

Congressional leaders agree on four-year extension of PATRIOT Act

Congressional leaders agreed on Thursday to extend three expiring provisions of the controversial PATRIOT Act for four years. Sources told the Associated Press that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker John Boehner agreed to call for a vote to extend the provisions before May 27, when they are…

FBI spied on little kids for days at a time, documents reveal

The digital rights advocacy group Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) announced Thursday it had discovered violations stemming from the FBI’s use of expiring provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act. Documents obtained by the group as the result of pending Freedom of Information Act litigation suggest that abuses of surveillance powers granted…

FBI chief to successor: Be ‘flexible’ in terror fight

WASHINGTON – FBI director Robert Mueller said Wednesday that the best advice he can give his successor is to “be flexible and agile” when responding to threats of terrorism. Mueller, who took the helm of the US Federal Bureau of Investigations one week before the September 11, 2001 attacks, is…

Sen. who pushed Patriot Act: Don’t make policy after disaster

A Republican leader who was quick to vote for the USA PATRIOT Act following the 9/11 attacks is now saying that legislators should think twice about making policy in the wake of disasters. Fox News’ Chris Wallace Sunday asked Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell if the nuclear disaster in Japan…

Senator vows to reform the PATRIOT Act

A Democratic senator from Oregon said Tuesday that Congress must use the three month extension of the PATRIOT Act to amend the legislation so that it does not violate American’s civil liberties. “Americans deserve laws that strike the best possible balance between fighting terrorism ferociously and protecting the rights and…

Senate votes for short-term extension of PATRIOT Act provisions

The US Senate voted Tuesday to extend three controversial provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act until May 27. The vote came a day after the House passed a 10-month extension of the same USA PATRIOT Act provisions that were set to expire at the end of February. The Senate passed…

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