Reid, Boehner Reach Deal On Four Year Patriot Act Extension

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) have agreed to a deal on a four-year extension of the Patriot Act, the Associated Press reports.Officials in both parties told the AP that the deal between Reid and Boehner calls for a quick vote. Closure on the motion to proceed on the Patriot Act will take place at 5 p.m. on Monday, Reid said on the floor of the Senate late Thursday. “The idea is to pass the extension with as little debate as possible to avoid a protracted and familiar argument over the expanded power the law gives to the government,” the AP reported.

Civil liberties groups aren’t thrilled.

“This reauthorization process started almost two years ago and it’s beyond disappointing that it will end without any increased institutional oversight or any meaningful limitation on the government’s spying authorities,” Michelle Richardson, ACLU Legislative Counsel, said in a statement to TPM.

“As a reminder we’ll back discussing an even bigger spying program – the FISA Amendments Act – next year. It sunsets at the end of 2012, is far more invasive than Patriot, and engendered even more congressional opposition,” Richardson said.

A spokeswoman for Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), who wanted stronger restrictions on the government’s power, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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