Despite Support from Sessions & Shelby, Patriot Act Renewal is Rejected

CAPITOL HILL -- The Senate handed the Bush administration and Republican congressional leaders a huge defeat Friday. It rejected an attempt to renew key provisions of the Patriot Act that expire at the end of the year.

Opponents argued the bill doesn't have enough safeguards and infringes too much on the privacy of Americans.

Senate supporters, including Alabama's two Republicans -- Jeff Sessions and Richard Shelby -- were eight votes short of the 60 votes needed to clear a parliamentary hurdle.

President Bush, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Republican congressional leaders had lobbied hard to make most of the expiring Patriot Act provisions permanent. But opponents said the act still allowed police too much leeway to delve into the private lives of Americans.

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