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In a vote of 257-171 on Thursday July 21 the United States Congress reauthorized several elements of the Patriot Act, which were due to expire in 2006. Fourteen of the sixteen sections with "sunset clauses" were made permanent, and the other two were extended for ten years. The legislation now goes before the Senate. President Bush has expressed interest in the act being extended, and vows to pass any legislation that reaches his desk.
The Patriot Act was passed in late October 2001 and was aimed at preventing further terror attacks through expanded law enforcement powers. It is a controversial act which some claim violates citizens' constitutional rights. The final roll call tally can be located here.