Last Stand On The Patriot Act
November 17, 2005
Wednesday morning Senator Arlen Specter, Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, was set to announce a deal on the Patriot Act. The House was, and may still be, planning to vote on Thursday; the Senate on Friday. The goal: Get the bill signed by the President by Thanksgiving.
But the President's poll numbers are shrinking to new lows and Democrats smell blood in the water. Ranking members of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, John Conyers of Michigan and Patrick Leahy of Vermont, respectively, have refused to sign on. Specter had a news conference scheduled for last night to announce the deal. He ended up canceling it.
What will happen? We don't know. Both sides seem willing to pass it. But the Democrats are willing to argue about the particulars. DownsizeDC.org's position is that the provision of the Patriot Act that are set to expire, should expire. And, the new provisions that the Republicans want to add, should not be added. And the provisions that are being made permanent, even though they weren't set to expire, should not be made permanent.
What do we want? In a word, Gridlock. If no vote happens, then all of these objectives are met.
We've modified the wording of the letter to Congress at our "Stop the Patriot Act Expansion" campaign to reflect this objective.
This is the 11th hour -- probably our last stand on this issue. Make it count. With the President's poll numbers down, there is a real chance, however slim, that we can stop this. Frankly, it's the best chance we've had all along. Please, send a message now.
And then, please tell your friends, family, and associates to join you in sending a message. Congress needs to hear from you.
If you want more information on the specifics of the wrangling between Specter's Republicans and Leahy/Conyers' Democrats, as of the start of business this AM, then check out this link.