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Roberts renews push to beef up Patriot Act

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Sen. Pat Roberts is continuing his efforts to expand FBI powers under the Patriot Act.[The Associated Press][1] reports today: "Rebuffed by both chambers of Congress, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday launched a new effort to expand the FBI's subpoena power in terrorism cases."As House and Senate negotiators opened talks on the expiring USA Patriot Act, Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., said talks have moved toward withholding some of the tools law enforcement agencies need to fight a war on terror."He said he will push hard for the panel to enact administrative subpoena power in the final product. In June, his panel included the expanded power to subpoena records without the approval of a judge or grand jury in terrorism investigations. But the Senate and the House passed their bills without the provision, long sought by the Bush administration."[GovExec.com][2] reports: "Kansas Republican Pat Roberts, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, complained that the legislation would not adequately provide the Justice Department with the necessary tools to track terrorists."'We live in a world where radical Islamic terrorists try day in and out to kill Americans and their allies,' Roberts said during the meeting. 'I am concerned that the U.S. Congress appears reluctant to give our intelligence committee the tools they need.'"[The New York Times][3] adds: "While the House and Senate versions of the legislation would both extend the central provisions of the law, the Senate version is seen as more restrictive and has broader support in Congress. It would extend several crucial provisions for only four years, instead of the 10 prescribed in the House version, and would impose new restrictions and greater judicial oversight in some cases on the government's ability to demand records and conduct antiterrorism operations. ..."But some Republicans warned that restrictions could tie the government's hands in identifying and pursuing terror suspects, and Senator Pat Roberts, the Kansas Republican who leads the Intelligence Committee, restated his hope for strengthening the powers of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to issue administrative subpoenas in demanding records in terror investigations."Other news and commentary today:Sam Brownback links[(Salon.com commentary) Debbie does Washington:][4] "I think most Americans agree and know that pornography is bad. They know that it involves exploitive images of men and women, and that it is morally repugnant and offensive," Brownback said, kicking off a hearing of the Senate's Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Property Rights, which he chairs. "What most Americans don't know is how harmful pornography is to its users and their families." ... To date, Brownback has put forward no specific legislation to address the problems he sees with pornography. But he mentioned several possible options, including a law that would encourage families to file civil suits against porn producers if they felt harmed by the material, a strategy that might put Brownback at odds with many of his Republican peers, who have championed restrictions on civil litigation. [(Kansas City Star) Talent uses bill to drill for votes:][5] Proponents of drilling in the refuge say the fields could add as much as 1 million barrels a day to U.S. production, although that production is more than a decade away from reality even if exploration were to begin immediately.Under the amendment, which Talent co-sponsored with Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, those 1 million additional daily barrels could not be exported. But as Sen. Sam Brownback, a Kansas Republican who voted against the amendment, pointed out, "this amendment doesn't have the correct enforcement measures to carry out its mission."[(Family News in Focus) Christian Message on Track in Off Year Elections:][6] Kansas Senator Sam Brownback says the Texas three-to-one vote to ban same sex marriage, underlines broad national support for traditional marriage."The support for marriage as a union between a man and a woman is growing in the country not receding. And I think it does give us impetus on this constitutional amendment."Dennis Moore links[(The Hill commentary) Negotiating prices will help hold down Medicare costs:][7] (Dennis Moore co-writes that) Congress should remove the prohibition in the new Medicare law that prevents the secretary of health and human services from negotiating lower prices for prescription drugs. Allowing Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices, just as the Department of Veterans Affairs does, could save the program up to 50 percent off many prescription drugs, thereby seriously reducing the $1.2 trillion projected cost of the Medicare prescription-drug benefit over the next 10 years. Jim Ryun links[(American Chronicle commentary) Fighting for Freedom:][8] (Jim Ryun writes that) The United States continues to stand as the beacon of freedom in the world. This beacon now shines across Iraq, where the eyes of the oppressed are opening to the light of freedom for the first time. No longer do they tremble in fear under the heavy hand of Saddam Hussein, who punished the innocent and rewarded the evil. Rather, they emerge from the shadows where Hussein hid, and pursue liberty and justice.How to contact As always, you can find information to contact members of the Kansas congressional delegation [here.][9] [1]: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,175253,00.html [2]: http://nationaljournal.com/about/technologydaily [3]: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/11/politics/11patriot.html [4]: http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2005/11/11/porn_hearing/ [5]: http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascitystar/news/politics/13137732.htm [6]: http://www.family.org/cforum/fnif/news/a0038548.cfm [7]: http://www.hillnews.com/thehill/export/TheHill/News/Frontpage/110905/moore.html [8]: http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/viewArticle.asp?articleID=3625 [9]: http://ljworld.com/extra/where_to_write.html#fed

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