“The US Congress, racing the clock and rejecting demands for additional safeguards of civil liberties, passed a bill on Thursday [May 26, 2011] to renew three expiring provisions of the anti-terrorism Patriot Act. [President] Barack Obama…signed it into law shortly before the provisions were set to expire at midnight. …Obama acted shortly after the Republican-led House of Representatives and the Democratic-led Senate approved the bill overwhelmingly. It passed the House, 250-153, hours after it cleared the Senate, 72-23. …The provisions empower law enforcement officials to get court approval to obtain ‘roving wiretaps’ on suspected foreign agents with multiple modes of communications, track non-US nationals suspected of terrorism, and obtain certain business and even library records. ‘Although the Patriot Act is not a perfect law, it provides our intelligence and law enforcement communities with crucial tools to keep America safe,’ said the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid [D-NV].”

 – Thomas Ferraro, “Congress Votes to Renew Anti-Terrorism Steps,” Reuters, May 27, 2011