Thursday, December 22, 2005

Interesting twist on the Patriot Act extension

After the Senate voted to approve and extension of the Patriot Act for 6 months, the House has taken the proposed extension and shortened it to a 1 month extension.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The House of Representatives on Thursday agreed to extend until February 3 key provisions of the anti-terrorism USA Patriot Act that had been set to expire at the end of the month, allowing time for lawmakers to consider civil liberties protections.

The Senate was expected to agree to a short extension of existing law Thursday night, even though it had approved a six- month extension on Wednesday.

The shorter timetable was sought by House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner, a Wisconsin Republican, who is pushing for the Senate to accept a White House-backed compromise to make the law permanent. Sensenbrenner said he wanted to keep lawmakers to a tight deadline.

A senior administration official said President George W. Bush would sign a one-month extension of the act even though he had objected to any temporary extension of current law and wanted Congress to accept the compromise.

At first glance I thought what the hell is wrong with our paid officials, but I can see the reasoning behind Sensenbrenner's logic. A tighter deadline leaves is an attempt to make it a more pressing decision and gives them less time to preen and prance in front of the press over how much the Patriot Act infirnges on civil liberties even though no cases have been made that anyone's civil liberties have ever been infirnged upon. That of course doesn't stop Nancy Pelosi and her horrific case of diarrhea of the mouth...

[...] House Democrats went along with the short extension, even though House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, said she would have preferred more than one month to refine civil liberties protections.

"The portion of the law in dispute is the very controversial section that affects the basic civil liberties of the of the American people," she said.

Sure it's been law since 2001 and (I don't think we can say this loudly enough) nevermind no cases anyone's civil liberties being violated have surfaced. But keep on blathering like a useful idiot Pelosi.

We'll have to wait and see if this ploy helps...