Brewtown Politico

Carrying a little stick and speaking loudly in Milwaukee


Feingold filibuster on Patriot Act Conference Report

Sen. Russ Feingold has stalled the renewal of the USA Patriot Act through a filibuster. He had supported a bill to improve the Patriot Act, and put in more safeguards, but it appears the Conference Committee has essentially done away with those fixes. Feingold criticized other Democratic Senators for caving in on their opposition to controversial provisions of the Act.

From his floor statement:

"It was not easy for me to support that Senate bill, which fell short of the improvements contained in the bipartisan SAFE Act. But at the end of the day, the Senate bill contained meaningful changes to some of the most problematic provisions of the Patriot Act – provisions that I have been trying to fix since October 2001 – and I decided to support it. I made it very clear at the time, however, that I viewed that bill as the end point of negotiations, not the beginning. In fact, I specifically warned my colleagues “that the conference process must not be allowed to dilute the safeguards in this bill.” Mr. President, I meant it, but it appears that people either weren’t listening or weren’t taking me seriously. This conference report as slightly modified by this deal, unfortunately, does not contain many important reforms to the Patriot Act that we passed here in the Senate. So I cannot support it. And I will fight it."

UPDATE: The filibuster has failed with the cloture vote being successful. The vote was 96-3 with Feingold, Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV), and Sen. Jim Jeffords (I-VT) voting against it.


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