Congressional Record: December 12, 2005 (Senate)
Page S13453-S13454                        


      By Mr. SUNUNU (for himself, Mr. Leahy, Mr. Craig, Mr. Rockfeller, 
        Ms. Mukowski, Mr. Kennedy, Mr. Levin, Mr. Durbin, Ms. Stabenow, 
        and Mr. Salazar):
  S. 2082. A bill to amend the USA PATRIOT Act to extend the sunset of 
certain provisions of that Act and the lone wolf provision of the 
Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 to March 31, 
2006; to the Committee on the Judiciary.
  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, On a September morning 4 years ago nearly 
3,000 lives were lost on American soil, and our lives as Americans 
changed in an instant. In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, Congress 
moved swiftly to pass anti-terrorism legislation. The fires were still 
smoldering at Ground Zero in New York City when the USA PATRIOT Act 
became law on October 30, 2001, just 6 weeks after the attacks.
  Many of us here in the Senate today worked together in a spirit of 
bipartisan unity and resolve to craft a bill that we had hoped would 
make us safer as a nation. Freedom and security are always in tension 
in our society, and especially so in those somber weeks after the 
attacks, and we tried our best to strike the right balance.
  One of the fruits of that bipartisanship was the PATRIOT Act's sunset 
provisions. These key provisions set an expiration date of December 31, 
2005, on certain government powers that had great potential to affect 
the civil liberties of the American people. Republican House Majority 
Leader Dick Armey and I insisted on these sunsets to ensure that 
Congress would revisit the PATRIOT Act within a few years and consider 
refinements to protect the rights and liberties of all Americans more 
effectively, and we prevailed.
  Sadly, the Bush administration and the Republican congressional 
leadership have squandered key opportunities to improve the PATRIOT 
Act. The House-Senate conference report filed last week by Republican 
lawmakers falls short of what the American people expect and deserve 
from us. The bipartisan Senate bill, which the Senate Judiciary 
Committee and then the Senate adopted unanimously, struck a far better 
  The reauthorization of the PATRIOT Act must have the confidence of 
the American people. The Congress should not rush ahead to enact flawed 
legislation to meet a deadline that is within our power to extend. We 
owe it to the American people to get this right.
  The way forward to a sensible and workable bipartisan bill is clear. 
Today I am pleased to join with Senator Sununu and others to introduce 
a bill to extend the sunsets on the expiring PATRIOT Act powers until 
March 31, 2006. Our bill also extends for three

[[Page S13454]]

months the so-called ``lone wolf'' FISA surveillance authority, which 
Congress enacted last year as part the Intelligence Reform and 
Terrorism Prevention Act.
  The deadline that Congress imposed to ensure oversight and 
accountability should not now become a barrier to achieving bipartisan 
compromise and the best bill we can forge together. This is a vital 
debate, and these are vital issues to all Americans. If a brief 
extension is needed to produce a better bill that will better serve all 
of our citizens, then by all means, let us give ourselves that time. I 
ask unanimous consent that the text of the bill be printed in the 
  There being no objection, the bill was ordered to be printed in the 
Record, as follows:

                                S. 2082

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

                   PREVENTION ACT OF 2004.

       Section 224(a) of the Uniting and Strengthening America by 
     Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and 
     Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT ACT) Act of 2001 (Public Law 
     107-56; 115 Stat. 295) is amended by striking ``December 31, 
     2005'' and inserting ``March 31, 2006''.