Carper Urges Congress to Pass Temporary Extension of Patriot Act

Supports Legislation to Extend Law for Three Months to Work Out Compromise

WASHINGTON (Dec. 19, 2005) – Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., today urged the Congressional Republican leadership and the White House to support a three-month extension of the Patriot Act so that lawmakers could work out a bipartisan compromise. Last week, Democrats and some Republicans in the Senate voted down a controversial reauthorization of the Patriot Act and urged congressional negotiators to re-start talks aimed at producing a bipartisan bill that strikes the right balance between protecting civil liberties and giving the government discretion to pursue suspected criminals. “I voted for the original Patriot Act in 2001, and I support reauthorizing the law and most of its enforcement provisions. However, the version that we voted down in the Senate last week did not strike the proper balance between upholding certain constitutional rights and granting the government broad authority to investigate and pursue terrorist threats. President Bush and Republican congressional leaders have threatened to let the Patriot Act expire at the end of the year rather than pass a three-month extension that would allow us to come back next year and work out a bipartisan compromise. There’s no good reason to let the Patriot Act expire. We shouldn’t let partisan politics get in the way of national security. Allowing the Patriot Act to expire would hurt our ability to investigate terrorist threats. We should pass a three-month extension before we adjourn for the year, and then re-commit ourselves to writing a better Patriot Act that strikes the right balance between fighting terrorism and protecting civil liberties.”