February 16, 2006
|Feingold Filibusters Patriot Act||Politics|
Russ Feingold is filibustering the extension of the USA Patriot Act, all by himself. AP:
In a case of legislative deja vu, Sen. Russell Feingold launched another lonely filibuster against the USA Patriot Act, but sponsors predicted enough support to overcome the objection and extend parts of the law set to expire March 10.
Feingold, D-Wis., said protracted talks with the White House over the law's protections for civil liberties produced only a "fig leaf" to cover weaknesses that leave people vulnerable to government intrusion.
Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pa., said he had the 60 votes required to overcome Feingold's filibuster, as soon as this week. He agreed, though, that any revisions to a House-Senate accord blocked last year were "cosmetic.
"But sometimes cosmetics will make a beauty out of a beast and provide enough cover for senators to change their vote," Specter told reporters Wednesday.
Indeed, the filibuster seemed doomed. No Democrats were expected to join Feingold, according to officials of both parties. Several senior senators of his party have said they would vote for the bill, including Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and Richard Durbin of Illinois. [Emphasis added]
The thing is, Feingold's a man of principle. I don't what Harry Reid is. We need a third party.