By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

With just hours to spare before a midnight deadline, Congress passed and sent to President Obama, a four-year extension of three critical terrorism-fighting powers, including powers to conduct roving wiretaps and examine business records in pursuit of terrorists.

A House vote on the bill followed in rapid succession Senate action. Both votes were by wide margin, and came after the rejection of efforts to change the legislation by both conservatives and liberals, who contended that government use of the terrorism-hunting powers infringed on personal liberties.

The measures were held up for three days by Republican freshman Rand Paul of Kentucky, who considers the powers an abuse of privacy rights. is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

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