[JURIST] Wire services are reporting that after intensive negotiations [JURIST report] lasting several days US senators late Wednesday agreed to extend the Patriot Act [JURIST news archive] for six months. The White House and the Senate Republican leadership had previously sought a reauthorization of the Act that would have made many provisions permanent, but that initiative was blocked [JURIST report] last Friday. On Tuesday, Democrats and eight Republican senators proposed a three-month extension [PDF letter] of the anti-terror law while a more acceptable reauthorization agreement than that reflected in the current conference report [JURIST report] was negotiated. The announced six-month extension will hold the act over well into the new year while preventing 16 key provisions of the Act from expiring as scheduled at the end of 2005. The agreed extension still has to be voted on in the Senate and approved by the House. AP has more.
10:45 PM ET - The Senate has now passed the six-month extension. Reuters has more.