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Bush presses Congress for prompt vote on Patriot Act renewal

[JURIST] During his weekly radio address [transcript] Saturday, President George W. Bush urged Congress to limit debate on the bill [summary] reauthorizing sections of the Patriot Act [PDF text; JURIST news archive] and vote soon on the compromise [JURIST report] announced by House and Senate Republicans on Thursday. The President lauded the original Act, saying it "allowed federal investigators to pursue terrorists with the same tools they already use against other criminals. For example, before the Patriot Act, it was easier to track the phone calls of a drug dealer than the phone calls of a terrorist. Before the Patriot Act, it was easier to get the credit card receipts of a tax cheat than those of an al Qaeda bankroller." The bill reauthorizes roving wiretaps and FBI access to library and business records for another four years, allows courts to review issuances of National Security Letters (NSL) [PDF sample text; ACLU backgrounder] and permits NSL recipients to consult a lawyer before complying. Reuters has more.

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