Washington (CNN) – The Senate voted Monday to take up legislation extending for four years key provisions of the Patriot Act, an anti-terrorism law passed after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
The vote was 74 to 8, and signals the measure should easily pass later this week, although opponents indicted they may drag out the process.
Passage in the House also is expected before the Memorial Day recess but it could be tougher in that chamber as lawmakers on the right and left, who oppose the extensions for a variety of reasons, are expected to team up against it. Some members of Congress, for example, have said they are concerned about the law's impact on civil liberties while others support the law but think it should be made permanent.
Late last week, bipartisan leaders in the House and Senate agreed to extend the three provisions set to express later this week. The provisions deal with roving taps, tracking alleged "lone wolf" terrorists, and the ability of law enforcement officials to obtain any records they deem relevant to an investigation.