Republicans Introduce Bill to Reauthorize PATRIOT Act Provisions
House Republicans today introduced legislation to reauthorize key national security provisions that are set to expire in 2009.
Following the attacks of September 11, the USA PATRIOT Act was enacted to help federal law enforcement and intelligence officials address the new terrorist threat. In 2006, after nearly two years of congressional debate, all but two provisions of the PATRIOT Act and one provision of the Intelligence Reform Act were reauthorized and made permanent.
The Safe and Secure America Act of 2009 extends the three expiring provisions for 10 years.
“Since the PATRIOT ACT was signed into law, a month after the September 11th attacks, we have been fortunate not to have another attack on U.S. soil,” Congressman Sensenbrenner said. “In our efforts to keep America safe, it is extremely critical that our law enforcement and intelligence communities have the resources they need to prevent future attacks. While we still face threats, this legislation is helping to keep our homeland safe. I was proud to author this legislation in the House in 2001, and I remain proud of it today.”
Specifically, the Act extends the “roving” wiretaps provision of the PATRIOT Act, the so-called “library provision” (aka FISA business records) of the PATRIOT Act and the “lone wolf” provision of the Intelligence Reform Act.
House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Lamar Smith introduced the bill on Thursday along with Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and GOP Conference Chairman Mike Pence (R-Indiana). House Judiciary Committee cosponsors include Rep. Howard Coble (R-N.C.); Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-Calif.); Rep. Daniel Lungren (R-Calif.); Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa); Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.); Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio); Rep. Thomas Rooney (R-Florida); and Rep. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.). Additional Republican cosponsors include: Rep. John Sullivan (R-Okla.); Rep. John Shadegg (R-Ariz.); Rep. Duncan Hunter (Calif.); Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-Minn.); and Rep. Mary Fallin (R-Okla.).
Congressman Sensenbrenner was Chairman of the Judiciary Committee when the PATRIOT Act was first introduced and then signed into law. He is also an original co-sponsor of the Patriot Act reauthorization introduced today.