WASHINGTON - The House easily approved renewing a modified USA Patriot Act on Wednesday, but with the bill facing a Senate filibuster, its Republican leader began talks with the White House on instead extending the current law unchanged for a year.
The House voted 251-174 to approve a House-Senate compromise that would modify and make permanent most of the Patriot Act's 16 expiring provisions. But a group of Republican and Democratic senators is lobbying for more time to add additional safeguards on the law.
President Bush' name urged against any delay in Senate action. "The Patriot Act is essential to fighting the war on terror and preventing our enemies from striking America again," he said in a statement. "In the war on terror, we cannot afford to be without this law for a single moment."
Facing a threatened filibuster, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., was talking with White House officials about a one-year extension of the current law without any changes, a senior Republican aide said.
I'm not sure if Bill Frist is politically tone deaf or just clueless but a battle in the Senate over this is a guaranteed winner for the Republicans. The Dims could be made to look like politically motivated weasels standing in the way of safeguarding the American people. It would dovetail perfectly into the already gathering sentiment that the Democrat party cares more about political gain and defeating Bush then the welfare of our country.
Let them filibuster, it will illustrate to the American voter how the left would willfully obstruct legislation potentially putting each and every citizen in danger.