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Area Reps. - except Clay, Costello - vote to renew PATRIOT Act

By Tom Weber, KWMU / AP

St. Louis, MO – Democrats Lacy Clay and Jerry Costello were the only two St. Louis area Congressmen to vote against renewing the USA Patriot Act Thursday.

Democrat Russ Carnahan joined all other area Republican lawmakers in voting for it.

The measure would make permanent most of the provisions of the Patriot Act that were set to expire at the end of this year. They deal with what the government can and cannot do in investigating possible crimes.

Both Republicans and Democrats agree the law is a valuable tool against terror, but many Democrats still voiced concerns about civil liberties. Most of the debate Thursday focused on whether 14 of the 16 provisions that were supposed to expire in four years should instead be made permanent.

The other two would get ten-year extensions -- which one Democrat denounced as "semi-permanent." Those two include a provision allowing searches of library and medical records, and another allowing roving wiretaps.

Republican James Sensenbrenner, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, says the PATRIOT Act has helped avert terrorist attacks, but he warned that "the threat has not receded."

On the other side of the Capitol, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved its own extension of the bill, with four-year extensions across the board.

The legislation that passed the House Thursday now heads to the U.S. Senate.

PATRIOT Act Renewal
(HRes 3199; roll call 414)

St. Louis Area Congressmen voting YES
Todd Akin (R-MO)
Russ Carnahan (D-MO)
JoAnn Emerson (R-MO)
Kenny Hulshof (R-MO)
John Shimkus (R-IL)
St. Louis Area Congressmen voting NO
William "Lacy" Clay (D-MO)
Jerry Costello (D-IL)

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