Senate considers Patriot Act despite concerns

May 24, 2011 - 3:15 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's trip to Europe is putting the Senate under pressure to do what it typically does not: Work quickly.

The chamber is considering a four-year extension to the anti-terror Patriot Act before key provisions expire Friday. But Obama's trip means the deadline is more like Wednesday, because any bill must pass the Senate, the House and then be flown overseas to be signed into law.

The White House has urged senators to speed it up. But a few Republicans and Democrats are insisting on time to talk about changes they want that would limit the government's power to hunt terrorists on American soil. The law's supporters say the nation remains at risk of attack even after the death this month of al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden.