February 10, 2006


GOP reaches Patriot Act deal (Charles Hurt, February 10, 2006, THE WASHINGTON TIMES)

With the four Republicans on board, a filibuster would become an all-Democrat move -- a prospect that Republicans relish because polls show that voters don't trust Democrats on national security. As of yesterday, the new bill remained one vote shy of breaking the filibuster.

But the deal gained at least two key Democrat supporters yesterday in Minority Whip Richard J. Durbin of Illinois and Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, both members of the Judiciary Committee.

"It is a substantial improvement," Mrs. Feinstein said of the new version. "I think it's important to get this done. And there is a four-year sunset, so we will be able to watch it closely."

Minority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, signaled optimism as well.

"I commend my Republican colleagues for working hard to make the Patriot Act better," he said after the agreement was announced. "Democrats strongly believe we must have all necessary tools to fight terrorism, but we want checks and balances to ensure that these expansive powers are not abused. The deal reached by my Republican colleagues appears to be a step in the right direction."

Praise from Democrats was not unanimous. Sen. Russell D. Feingold, the Wisconsin Democrat who led opposition to the bill, said the alterations are "a few small changes" and he would continue to oppose the bill.

Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont Democrat and ranking minority member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, was disappointed, too. "A bipartisan coalition in the Senate made a valiant stand to make clear that security and liberty are not mutually exclusive values in America," he said. "We can and we should have both. But White House naysaying and partisanship have obstructed this from becoming the better bill that it should be, and that is deeply regrettable."

Translation: the White House routed them again.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 10, 2006 8:20 AM

I'm sorry to see the protections for libaries added, not so much because it harms national security as because the ALA has just been so pompous and self-righteous.

Posted by: David Cohen at February 10, 2006 9:36 AM

Y'know, this ploy -- offering a few Republicans as bipartisan bait, then pulling them away and leaving the Dems all alone on the limb -- just keeps working. We should name it "Student Body Right" for short.

Posted by: Bob Hawkins at February 10, 2006 11:05 AM

Sure David, but on the bright side, the white supremcist militia in Idaho, and Lebanese Christian terrorist groups have gotten what they want apparently.

Posted by: h-man at February 10, 2006 11:06 AM


No, their Senators folded like pup tents.

Posted by: oj at February 10, 2006 2:37 PM