CONFERENCE REPORT ON H.R. 3199, USA PATRIOT IMPROVEMENT AND REAUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2005 -- (House of Representatives - December 14, 2005)
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Mr. CHABOT. Madam Speaker, today I rise in support of this conference report. And as a conferee, I want to specially thank Chairman Sensenbrenner for his leadership in negotiating the final details of this very important legislation.
Our Nation continues to be threatened by radical terrorists, and it is critical that we take every step possible to prevent future attacks. Over the past 4 years, the PATRIOT Act has proven to be an effective tool in helping to accomplish this goal. But significant threats continue to exist, endangering the lives of U.S. citizens. With this in mind, it is imperative that detecting and disrupting terrorist activity before it occurs remain a top priority.
It is also critical, however, that we maintain our commitment to protecting American civil liberties. When the House first considered the original PATRIOT Act, I was one of several on the Judiciary Committee who sought to include sunset provisions that would require Congress to reauthorize the legislation after conducting vigorous oversight.
Well, the House Judiciary Committee has extensively reviewed the PATRIOT Act and its implementation. And over a 4-month period, it received testimony from 35 witnesses during 12 hearings on the PATRIOT Act. Furthermore, the committee conducted a nearly 12-hour markup of this legislation, including consideration of 43 amendments.
As chairman of the Subcommittee on the Constitution, we have held PATRIOT Act oversight hearings in my subcommittee, and we remain committed to monitoring the implementation of this legislation through aggressive oversight. I am pleased that another 4-year sunset of the more controversial provisions and several additional safeguards to further protect civil liberties were included in the conference report, and I thank Chairman Sensenbrenner for that.
The sunset provisions proved to be successful the first time around, and their renewal, coupled with new protections, helped strengthen our defenses against terrorism while demonstrating a strong commitment to civil liberties.
The goal of our enemies is to destroy America and its allies. We must remain steadfast in our resolve to eradicate the plague of terrorism. This act does that.
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