House votes with Sanders on Patriot Act issue

Print More

(Host) The Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives defied President Bush on Wednesday by voting with Vermont Congressman Bernie Sanders to curb FBI powers to seize library and bookstore records under the Patriot Act.

Melinda Wittstock has more from Capitol Hill.

(Wittstock) It was a clear but possibly short-lived victory.

Bernie Sanders has been working with civil libertarians from both parties since the USA Patriot Act was enacted shortly after 9/11 to overturn what he regarded as its worst abuses.

The Sanders Amendment blocks the FBI from seizing library and book store records without a warrant from a criminal court. The White House says the provision is crucial in the war against terrorism. But thirty-eight House Republicans worried about government intrusion found common cause with Sanders.

The House Republican leadership for its part is vowing to overturn the Sanders Amendment when the Act’s reauthorization is negotiated with the Senate. And President Bush has threatened a veto if the Sanders rider is included.

For Vermont Public Radio, I’m Melinda Wittstock in Washington.

Comments are closed.