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Bush pushes for permanent Patriot Act reauthorization

[JURIST] President Bush addressed [White House transcript] a group of federal prosecutors on Tuesday, outlining his argument in favor of passing a long-term reauthorization of the USA Patriot Act [JURIST news archive]. Bush reluctantly signed a one-month authorization [JURIST report] of the legislation last Friday and hopes to sign legislation soon that will permanently extend provisions of the Act that were set to expire on December 31. Unable to reach agreement on a long-term extension of Patriot Act powers, Congress passed the one-month extension [JURIST report] amidst controversy over the proper balance between security and civil liberties concerns. In his remarks Tuesday, Bush emphasized the security benefits of the Act, calling the Patriot Act "a really important tool" for protection of the American people and urging Congress to give the administration "the tools necessary" to win the war on terror. The Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] has identified 16 key provisions of the Act [DOJ report, PDF] that were included in the renewal legislation, which expires on February 3. AP has more.

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