Earlier this week, when the legislative conference tasked with reconciling the House and Senate versions of the PATRIOT renewal bill started circulating drafts of its so-called "compromise", a vote seemed certain by the end of the week. But the civil liberties community recognized the conference report for what it was: the same old PATRIOT with illusory reforms.
Luckily, several dedicated and patriotic Senators and Representatives--yes, Virginia, they do exist!--recognized it too and have revolted, promising to oppose the conference report if more real checks and balances from the Senate version of the bill aren't put back in.
Will the conference leaders bow to pressure and rewrite the conference report to better protect our rights, so they can get a vote on it before the holiday? Or will they stand firm and risk a drawn-out public debate on PATRIOT and civil liberties, which can only weaken their position? We don't know yet. So keep the pressure on and call Congress today!