Congress, Once Again, Looks To Extend Patriot Act With Little Or No Debate
When the Patriot Act first passed, there were concerns about civil liberties. Especially in reaction to the terrorist attacks of 2001. In order to mollify those concerned, Congress put in some "sunset" provisions, which would have certain aspects of the Patriot Act expire at a particular time. Last year, parts of the Patriot Act were set to expire, and some folks had hoped that it would open up some opportunities to better protect basic civil liberties. You know, that whole 4th amendment non-sense.
Too bad it was an election year, no one wanted to look "soft" on terrorism, Congress had little discussion about the matter and simply decided to re-up the entire Patriot Act, saying they'd review the provisions this year.
In an attempt to be amusing, the extension of the Patriot Act was buried in the "Medicare Physician Payment Reform Act."