The U.S. Senate has approved a five-week extension of controversial anti-terrorism laws known as the Patriot Act that were set to expire at the end of the month.
The vote ended wrangling between the two houses of Congress over the length of the extension of the Patriot Act. The legislation now goes to President Bush for his signature.
The Patriot Act expands the government's powers to track suspected terrorists. Some lawmakers are concerned that provisions in the act, such as surveillance at libraries, undermine basic civil rights.
The House Thursday approved a one-month extension to give lawmakers more time to consider ways to protect civil liberties under the measure. The Senate had voted Wednesday for a six-month extension.
The Patriot Act was first passed by Congress after the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States.