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The Patriot Act, renewed

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A renewed Patriot Act that gives the FBI more powers is a step closer to reality, thanks in large part to Sen. Pat Roberts.Roberts is chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which this week approved the new bill on an 11-4 vote. [The Associated Press reports][1] "The FBI would get expanded powers to subpoena records without the approval of a judge or grand jury in terrorism investigations under Patriot Act revisions approved Tuesday by the Senate Intelligence Committee."Ranking Democrat Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., supported the bill overall but said he would push for limits that would allow such administrative subpoenas 'only if immediacy dictates.'"Rockefeller and other committee members, such as Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., also are concerned that the bill would grant powers to federal law enforcement agencies that could be used in criminal inquiries rather than intelligence-gathering ones."Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., said the bill places new checks and balances on the powers it would grant, such as new procedures that would allow people to challenge such administrative orders. He called the Patriot Act 'a vital tool in the war on terror' and lauded the Democrats who voted for it in spite of misgivings."Here is Roberts' [press release][2] on the issue.The bill must also be reviewed by the Senate Judiciary Committee before it goes to the full Senate.Other links:Pat Roberts links [(Washington Post) Pending Trade Accord Angers Some Senators:][3] The Bush administration took a beating Tuesday from farm-state senators angry about a pending trade agreement with Central America. ... "They're going to have to put on a full-court press, or CAFTA may not pass," said Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan. "They're going to have to sell it a lot better and prove to a farmer or rancher how he or she is really benefiting from this."[(Wichita Eagle) Blacked-out Pentagon tanker report irks senators:][4] A Pentagon report released Tuesday to answer questions about an air tanker deal gone bad instead generated more questions about what roles Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and the White House played in pushing the flawed contract. ... The tanker program promised about 1,000 jobs at Boeing Wichita, and both Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Goddard, remain vocal supporters of buying Boeing tankers even though leasing is no longer an option. "Air Force refueling tankers are a critical component of our military power," Roberts said. "Many of the problems our fleet is facing, like problems with corrosion, is age-related and will get exponentially worse with time."Sam Brownback links [(Christian Wire Service) OFFICIALS OF CHRISTIAN COALITION OF THE AFRICAN COUNTRY OF ZAMBIA VISIT OFFICIALS ON CAPITOL HILL:][5] Today the Christian Coalition of America hosted the leadership of the Christian Coalition in the African country of Zambia whose officials participated in meetings on Capitol Hill with Christian Coalition. The Chairman of the Senate Values Action Team, Senator Sam Brownback, (R-KS), met with the Chairman and Treasurer of the Christian Coalition of Zambia, Rev. Charles Mwape and Rev. Godwin Musonda[(Knight-Ridder News Service) Vote on Brown's nomination likely to be close:][6] The Senate cleared the way Tuesday for the confirmation of controversial California Supreme Court Associate Justice Janice Rogers Brown to a federal appeals court, ending a Democratic blockade that cast her as a symbol of opposition to laws safeguarding workers' rights. ... Republicans defended Brown. "Why is there such consternation about her becoming a D.C. appellate court judge?" asked Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan. "She is a lady nominated by President Bush [who] will strictly construe the Constitution, stay within the bounds of the document, not try to write new opinion on a new constitutional right. She is what lawyers would call a strict constructionist." [(BP News) Embryo Limits (Last item):][7] Sen. Sam Brownback, R.-Kan., a leading pro-lifer in Congress, has called for limits on the number of embryos created during in vitro fertilization so that fewer of the nascent human beings are left over in clinics. Speaking on ABC News' "This Week" May 29, Brownback said, "In a number of countries, they limit the number of these in vitro fertilizations from outside the womb. They say you can do this, but you have to do these one or two at a time, so that they're implanted [on] that basis. That's a way that you can look at that, instead of going on this massive scale of what we've done here."How to contact As always, you can find information to contact members of the Kansas congressional delegation [here.][8] [1]: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/08/AR2005060800587.html [2]: http://roberts.senate.gov/06-07a-2005.htm [3]: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/07/AR2005060701069.html [4]: http://www.kansas.com/mld/kansas/11841045.htm [5]: http://www.montanasnews.com/articles.php?mode=view&id=1898 [6]: http://www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/news/nation/11842837.htm [7]: http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?ID=20923 [8]: http://ljworld.com/extra/where_to_write.html#fed

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