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Patriot Act Extension Vital to America's Security

Location: Washington, DC

"As we all know, the War on Terror, did not end last month when American forces shot and killed Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad.

"General Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence wrote to me yesterday to explain that this is a moment of elevated threat to our country and that the Intelligence Community is working to analyze the information gained at the Bin Laden compound.

"Al Qaeda and its associate groups remain a threat to the United States.

"And our intelligence community, military and law enforcement professionals still need the tools that enable them to gather and share intelligence in this fight.

"That's why all Americans should be reassured today in knowing that these dedicated men and women will continue to have those tools.

"I have no doubt that the four-year Patriot Act extension that members of both parties will agree to today will safeguard us from future attacks.

"And that everything we agreed to in this extension is necessary for this fight.

"As FBI Director Bob Mueller has said, all the authorities it contains are critical.

"Each one requires the prior approval of an independent federal judge.

"Nothing in this extension has ever been found to be unconstitutional.

"And most of these authorities haven't even been challenged in court -- ever.

"The Senate Intelligence Committee has conducted aggressive oversight of the programs authorized by these expiring provisions.

"Over the past decade, we've seen how terrorists have proved themselves adaptable.

"How they've continuously altered their tactics and methods to strike us at home.

"By extending this invaluable terror-fighting tool, we're staying ahead of them.

"Now is not the time to surrender the tools authorized by this act, or to make them more difficult to use.

"It was absolutely imperative that we renew these authorities under the Patriot Act.

"They've enabled others to keep us safe for nearly a decade.

"Our law enforcement professionals have been able to use tools just like them in traditional criminal cases for years.

"We should be relieved and reassured to know they won't expire this week."

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