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25 January 2006: National PATRIOT ACT Call-In Day

In late December, following long and oftentimes contentious debate, the Senate blocked passage of the Conference Report on the reauthorization of the USA PATRIOT Act. Previously, the Senate passed a bi-partisan reauthorization bill that is far preferable to that passed by the House of Representatives. Some key provisions in the Senate bill were not reflected in the Conference Report. The House and Senate have until February 3, 2006 to resolve differences over the Conference Report.
Key issues of concern that should be included in the final Conference Report are the following:

- language allowing a Section 215 (e.g., relating to library records) recipient to pose a meaningful challenge to a FISA Court order;

- language allowing a Section 505 recipient to pose a meaningful challenge to a National Security Letter; and

- language in Section 215 requiring a statement of fact linking the person whose records are sought to a terrorism investigation.

To focus attention on these key issues, January 25, 2006 is slated to be National PATRIOT Act Call-In-Day. Calls to members of Congress by individuals requesting their delegation's support for the Senate language listed above are needed prior to final House and Senate action on the USA PATRIOT Act. The Senate bill provides better protections for an individual's civil liberties while not impairing national security.
Members of Congress may be reached via the Capitol Switchboard number: 202-224-3121.
Posted 18 January 2006

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Last modified April 10, 2006 1:58:34 PM EDT