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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Florida's mixed vote on the Patriot Act

Earlier we reported how Florida Sens. Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson supported extending provisions of the Patriot Act. Tonight, the House passed it as well, sending the measure to President Obama. The vote made for odd alliances, as evidence among the Florida delegation.

Voting no were Democrats Frederica Wilson and Alcee Hastings, and Republicans Connie Mack, Bill Posey and Allen West. Here's what West had to say:

I have spent the past two months investigating these provisions to the PATRIOT Act, their effect on American citizens and their impact on apprehending terrorists to better keep our country safe.  After much reading, many briefings, and conversations with local law enforcement and federal agents, including FBI Director Robert Mueller, I am not fully convinced that by extending these provisions for four years, we would be any safer, but instead I fear they may only give us the illusion of being safer. 

I also have concerns that these provisions were pushed through during the final hours on the very last day before the provisions were set to expire, and there was no open process for myself and other members of Congress to fully review the document.

[Last modified: Thursday, May 26, 2011 11:40pm]


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