The United States Senate rushed toward approval of a four-year extension of The Patriot Act, the contentious anti-terrorism law, and voted to block any further debate or reform of the law. Both conservatives and liberals in the U.S. Senate stated that there were aspects that were a threat to civil and privacy rights.
Colorado U.S. Senator Mark Udall attempted to slow this move with a group of bipartisan Senators, but was derailed by the block vote. They said it was critical that individual rights not be overlooked in this important effort to thwart terrorists and proposed amendments including one that that would have required intelligence agencies to identify either the target or the location when carrying out roving wiretaps, in a report by Associated Press.
As reported in the Colorado Independent, Udall stated:
I resent this rush to rubber-stamp laws that endanger liberties we hold so dear. They have always pressed for short-term extensions without debate. Now we were notified just a few days ago that we would be asked to pass a four-year extension. We are ensuring Americans will live with the status quo for four more years. Bottom line is that the Patriot Act has kept us safe for ten years but Coloradans have asked me to work to protect their liberties and freedoms and I won't vote for it again.
The key provisions to the Patriot Act expire Friday and the Obama administration are in favor of extending the law. But, several lawmakers believe the law to be less than necessary now that former al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden is dead, according to The Denver Post.