Lee to Vote Against Patriot Act

(KCPW News) Utah Senator Mike Lee says he’ll vote no on extending the PATRIOT Act when the Senate takes a final vote later this week. Lee says he disagrees with the roving wiretap provision, and one that allows the government to search and seize without probable cause.

“I’m sensitive to the need to protect our national security,” he said in a telephone conference. “At the same time I acknowledge that the expiring provisions, some of them have the potential to violate some important privacy concerns and the legislation hasn’t been amended to reflect some of these basic privacy and constitutionally rooted concerns that I have.”

Lee was one of only two Senate Republicans who voted against PATRIOT Act extensions in February. He says he won’t let his party affiliation trump what he believes is right, but he notes his position is definitely a Tea Party sentiment.

“It’s part of the whole idea of constitutionally limited government that has become almost synonymous with the Tea Party movement, that you want government to have certain boundaries that it shouldn’t cross,” said Lee.

The PATRIOT Act was implemented following the September 11th attacks to combat terrorism by increasing surveillance and reducing restrictions on law enforcement.