Nebraska Congressman Adrian Smith says he’s not giving up on an extension to the Patriot Act, which failed to pass in the U-S House this week.
While it got a majority of votes, 277 to 148, the bill fell short of the two-thirds approval needed. Republican leadership brought the measure to the floor on a fast-track basis, which calls for the two-thirds vote.
Congressman Smith, a Republican, was surprised it didn’t pass. “We’ve been fighting drug dealers with these laws for several years and to fight terrorists and terrorism in the same manner is even more important,” Smith says. “It’ll get passed. It’s just a matter of time. Our national security is at stake.”
The Patriot Act restructured the nation’s security system and gave new powers to the federal government to observe American citizens and non-citizens in an effort to avoid another major attack like on September 11th, 2001.
Smith says he know Republicans have to regroup. “Without the Patriot Act, we make it much more difficult for law enforcement to attack the terrorism issue,” he says.
Smith says he’s confident the act will be passed before it expires at the end of the month. “It’s still a significant majority that supported the bill,” Smith says. “It just fell short of the two-thirds needed. It just has to go through a different process.”
Smith says if there are still concerns about elements of the Patriot Act, they can be debated one at a time.
Thanks to Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton