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Bush approves renewal of Patriot Act

December 31, 2005 18:21 IST

Unsatisfied with Congress' decision of not giving permanent extension to the Patriot Act, US President George W Bush on Friday signed the short-term renewal of the controversial anti-terrorism law that gives sweeping surveillance powers to the Administration.

Bush, who is holidaying at his ranch in Crawford in Texas, signed the extension of the Act until February 3 while approving a number of other bills submitted by Congress.

After hanging tough on the Patriot Act, which he wanted Congress to extend permanently, Bush found that he was left with little to no choice in the matter.

The lawmakers in the Senate voted to extend the Act, set to expire on Saturday, by six months but the House of Representatives wanted to force a larger debate on the issue and hence would agree to only a five-week extension. The Senate came around and agreed to this.

However, the White House is making sure that no effort will be spared in getting through the Patriot Act beyond the first week of February.

"He's going to work hard with the Congress to make sure that we get that important law renewed," its spokesman Trent Duffy said.

"Our law enforcement community needs this, he's not satisfied with a one-month extension. But we've got to get that in place, and  we've got to work with them to get it permanently re-extended," he said.


Sridhar Krishnaswami in Washington, DC
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