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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rubio, Nelson support Patriot Act extension

Florida Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio added support today for extending the Patriot Act, which includes domestic spying provisions that some politicians say are too intrusive. The measures easily cleared a procedural hurdle but tea party Sen. Rand Paul has insisted on a protracted debate that may cause them to temporarily lapse.

“While some may disagree on this issue," Rubio said, "I simply cannot allow those tasked with protecting our people from being deprived of these vital, lawful means to help prevent an attack. As a member of the Senate’s Select Committee on Intelligence, I am aware of the constant threat our nation faces from terrorists and individuals who hate us and want to impose their radical view of the world at all costs. Any changes or limits on the Patriot Act would only give these extremists an opening to strike us."

Paul, R-K.Y., has forced 30 hours of debate before a final vote, which Rubio will miss. He's headed back to Florida today to see his son Anthony graduate from kindergarten. Tomorrow morning, Rubio will give the commencement speech at Florida International University law school.

[Last modified: Thursday, May 26, 2011 3:54pm]


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