The Senate may vote on a second temporary extension of several controversial counterterrorism authorities as part of the jobs bill unveiled Thursday.
The draft bill carries language that would extend until Dec. 31 three expiring provisions of the antiterrorism law known as the Patriot Act.
The three provisions were set to expire at the end of 2009. But neither House nor Senate Democratic leaders evinced any appetite for tackling a substantive rewrite of the law last year. In December, Congress cleared a short-term reauthorization until Feb. 28, as part of the fiscal 2010 Defense appropriations bill.
One of the expiring provisions allows the government to seek orders from a special federal court for “any tangible thing” that it says is related to a terrorism investigation. Another allows the government to seek court orders for roving wiretaps on terrorism suspects who shift their modes of communication.
Comment: Go figure, as the American people are getting kicked squarely between the legs by the bankers and the buffoonery leveled by Congress, the Senate slides in an extension to further the police state.