House Approves Renewal of Patriot Act Protections against Terrorists
Legislation Safeguards Civil Liberties, Congressional Oversight
WASHINGTON – The House of Representatives late yesterday passed H.R. 3199, the USA PATRIOT and Terrorism Prevention Reauthorization Act of 2005 by a vote of 257-171. First District Congressman Paul Ryan voted in favor of the measure, which reauthorizes expiring provisions of the PATRIOT Act (and two provisions of the Intelligence Reform Act) that were scheduled to sunset in December. The legislation ensures our law enforcement will retain the tools it needs to protect our homeland and fight terrorism, while at the same time preserving citizens’ constitutional rights and civil liberties.
“As the recent terrorist bombings in London remind us, the terrorists have not given up attacking free societies and murdering innocent people. Clearly, now is not the time to downgrade our ability to detect and counter terrorist plots here in the United States. This legislation will keep key provisions of the Patriot Act that have helped unravel terrorist cells and save lives,” Ryan said.
“It also includes improvements that strengthen the law’s civil liberties protections and provide for congressional and judicial oversight. Guarding the constitutional rights of citizens must be our highest priority, and the use of this law should continue to be carefully monitored by Congress. It has been applied responsibly so far, and we must see to it that Americans’ rights and freedoms remain secure.”
Among its provisions, the PATRIOT Act, which passed in 2001 after the September 11 terrorist attacks, did the folllowing:
The House Judiciary Committee conducted a careful review of the PATRIOT Act, holding 12 hearings since April on the law, and H.R. 3199 was amended by both Democrats and Republicans in committee and on the floor of the House. During floor consideration by the full House of Representatives, H.R. 3199 was amended 17 times, covering matters ranging from heightened penalties for terrorist acts to streamlining funding for first responders.
Among the amendments that Congressman Ryan voted in favor of were measures that ensure added protection for citizens’ constitutional rights by: