December 21, 2009


Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), chairman of the Judiciary Terrorism and Homeland Security Subcommittee released the following statement following Senate passage of a 60-day temporary extension of provisions of the PATRIOT Act that were about to expire.


"Our priority is to protect the American people - both their safety and civil liberties," said Cardin.  "We must make sure that our law enforcement and intelligence professionals have the tools they need to prevent and disrupt terrorist attacks, while maintaining an appropriate balance between national security and protecting civil liberties. With these parallel goals in mind, I believe the Senate took the right action today to temporarily extend the provisions that expire at the end of the year, allowing for a thoughtful floor debate on the tools available and how they are utilized or might be utilized.  I support stronger Congressional and judicial oversight of the PATRIOT Act, as well as new limits on the use of National Security Letters."


The USA PATRIOT Act Sunset Extension Act , which was introduced by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Senator Cardin and other co-sponsors in September, was approved by the Judiciary Committee in October.