As we've discussed, there were some very questionable provisions in the Patriot Act which were set to expire last year, but got extended, officially to allow time for debate. There was none, and when the extension was set to expire, Congress extended the clauses again for 90 days
, supposedly to debate them. There were some superficial discussions, but the end result is what many people knew would happen anyway: the provisions are going to be extended for four years
, with no concessions or greater oversight. Not only that, but the leadership from both major parties, who have agreed to this "deal," want to pass it with little or no debate:
The deal between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker John Boehner calls for a vote before May 27, when parts of the current act expire, according to officials in both parties who spoke on condition of anonymity. The idea is to pass the extension with as little debate as possible to avoid a protracted and familiar argument over the expanded power the law gives to the government.
So, let's see. The government grants itself the power to abuse the 4th Amendment and spy on people with little oversight, and it would prefer that there not be any debate over this, because pesky people might raise the fact that this is wide open for abuse, and the senators don't want to have to talk about that.