Lest you’ve forgotten, the Patriot Act is still dangling out there. Apparently, the Republicans who joined with the Dems to oppose the conference report in December have reached an agreement with the White House with a press conference scheduled for later today. Stay tuned.
White House press secretary Scott McClellan pre-empted them, though, saying the changes “continue to build upon the civil liberties protections that are in place but do so in a way that doesn’t compromise our national security priorities.”
“We’re pleased that this important legislation is moving forward,” he said.
But (Senator Russ) Feingold said before this afternoon’s news conference that he would not be part of the deal about to be announced. “The few minor changes that the White House agreed to do not address the major problems with the Patriot Act that a bipartisan coalition has been trying to fix for the past several years,” he said. “I will continue to strongly oppose, and use every option at my disposal to stop, any reauthorization of the Patriot Act that does not protect the rights and freedoms of law-abiding Americans with no connection to terrorism.”