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Thursday, June 16, 2005

CBS 46 Atlanta - GA Republican Votes to Limit Patriot Act Powers

CBS 46 Atlanta - GA Republican Votes to Limit Patriot Act PowersGA Republican Votes to Limit Patriot Act Powers
Jun 16, 2005, 8:09 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Republican Representative Jack Kingston voted against his GOP colleagues in favor of an amendment to restrict government investigators from checking library and bookstore records under the Patriot Act.

Democrats were able to win support from enough Republicans Wednesday to limit the Act's provisions on a 238-to-187 vote.

Kingston said the Patriot Act provides important tools to help terrorism. But he said the country has to find the balance between privacy and overzealous investigators intruding on individual liberties.

The Senate still must act on the measure, and Georgia Republicans Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson signaled they're reluctant to limit the law enforcement powers.

Supporters of limiting the library and bookstore provision say the law gives the FBI too much leeway to go on fishing expeditions based on what people read. They say innocent people could get tagged as potential terrorists based on what they check out from a library.

Other conservative Republicans in Georgia argued it was necessary to give law enforcement every possible tool to fight terrorism. Representative Lynn Westmoreland said the restrictions would provide a library refuge to terrorists to use the computer or check out books to pass messages.

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