House Extends Key Provisions of Patriot Act

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A bill that extends key provisions of the USA Patriot Act, the nation's counterterrorism surveillance law, is on its way to President Barack Obama's desk for his signature.

The House voted 315 to 97 that passed a one-year extension of the key provisions Thursday evening.

They include phone surveillance and seizure provisions opposed by Democrats who say they say they violate privacy. The provisions were set to expire on Sunday.

"Recent terror attacks, such as those at Fort Hood and on Christmas Day, demonstrate just how severe of a threat we are facing," Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., said. "This extension keeps Patriot's security measures in place and demonstrates that there is a growing recognition that these crucial provisions must be preserved."

Senate Democrats had tried to add new privacy protections to the act, but could not get past a Republican filibuster.

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