“Today, the United States Senate sent a strong message that we cannot undermine the rights of our residents as we work to protect our nation.

Since its enactment, the USA Patriot Act has played an important role in protecting our country from potential harm. I voted for the Act in the days following September 11th with the knowledge that some of its powers would expire after four years, giving Congress an opportunity to re-evaluate the law.

Because serious questions about the use of the Patriot Act have come to light, we need to proceed with caution. That’s why, along with a strong, bipartisan coalition of Senators, I voted against moving forward until American liberties are protected.

In July, I voted for the Senate version of the bill because it struck the right balance. Unfortunately, the version that emerged last week from a House-Senate conference went too far in undermining the rights of the American people. We must do better.

We need to do all that we can to protect the American people from harm, but we must also protect the very rights and principles for which America stands.”