Lawmakers line up against government use of library records
The House voted Wednesday to block the FBI and the Justice Department from using the anti-terrorism Patriot Act to search library and bookstore records, responding to complaints about potential invasion of privacy of innocent readers.
Despite a veto threat from President Bush, lawmakers voted 238-187 to block the part of the anti-terrorism law that allows the government to investigate the reading habits of terrorism suspects.
The vote reversed a narrow loss last year by lawmakers complaining about threats to privacy rights. They narrowed the proposal this year to permit the government to continue to seek out records of Internet use at libraries.
The vote came as the House debated a $57.5 billion bill covering the departments of Commerce, Justice and State. The Senate has yet to act on the measure, and GOP leaders often drop provisions offensive to Bush during final negotiations.