USA PATRIOT Act Reauthorization in Brief

RS22216 -- USA PATRIOT Act Reauthorization in Brief

Updated September 15, 2005


Both Houses have approved proposals to reauthorize USA PATRIOT Act sections scheduled to expire at the end of the year. The House passed H.R. 3199 on July 21, 2005, 151 Cong. Rec. H6307; the Senate, S. 1389 on July 29, 2005 (although the Senate substituted its language for that of H.R. 3199 and then passed H.R. 3199; for convenience the Senate version of H.R. 3199 is referred to as S. 1389 here). This is a sketch of those bills and how they differ. Their common provisions deal mostly with expanded federal authority under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA). The bills make permanent all but two of the temporary USA PATRIOT Act sections. They postpone the expiration of the two, dealing with FISA roving wiretaps and the so-call library or business records authority. In these two, the national security letter statutes, and some of the other USA PATRIOT Act provisions make sometimes parallel and sometimes individualistic adjustments. H.R. 3199 contains a number of features not found in S. 1389 including a first responder grant program, new capital offenses and adjusted capital punishment procedures, sections that in large measure replicate the seaport crimes portions of S. 378 (as reported), a substantial expansion in federal forfeiture authority in terrorism and money laundering cases, and expansion of federal wiretapping authority to embrace investigations into twenty crimes for which the authority did not previously exist. A more detailed version of this report is available as CRS Report RL33027, USA PATRIOT Act: Background and Comparison of House- and Senate-approved Reauthorization and Related Legislative Action.