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Patriot Act Update from Anthony Romero

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August 12, 2005

Here’s the latest news direct from today’s ACLU Newsletter:

The most important thing you need to know about this summer’s battle to reform the Patriot Act is that the fight isn’t over yet. There is still much that we, and you, can do.

Your voice matters! Add your name to over 58,000 petition signatures that will be delivered to Congress in the coming weeks.

In the days before the August recess, both houses of Congress passed bills to reauthorize the expiring provisions of the Patriot Act.

The Senate’s Specter-Feinstein bill was a truly bi-partisan effort and takes modest but important steps toward reforming the Patriot Act, though some significant flaws remain. The House bill, by contrast, does not offer any meaningful reforms, makes some parts of this flawed law even worse, and makes all but two provisions of the Patriot Act permanent.

These two bills now go to a joint conference. This is the Congressional process for reconciling differences between bills passed by both houses on the same issue.

As Congressional leaders and staffers confer to resolve these differences, the ACLU and its allies across the nation – and across the political spectrum – remain actively engaged in the process. Much work remains if we are to ensure that the best of the improvements offered in the Senate bill are not lost and that the worst provisions of the severely flawed House bill do not become the law.

We’ll be reaching out to you in the coming weeks as we work toward a vote in both the House and Senate on a final bill, likely in September.

Thank you again for your tremendous efforts! There is much we still can do together to help create laws that keep us both safe and free.

Anthony D. Romero
Executive Director