Wisconsin Democratic Senator Russ Feingold is threatening a filibuster ahead of a vote to renew the Patriot Act, while Republican Congressman James Sensenbrenner of Milwaukee says the act must be renewed promptly.
More than a dozen provisions of the Act -- which is the government's top anti-terrorism law -- are due to expire December 31st.
Feingold says the bill to extend those provisions doesn't go far enough in protecting constitutional freedoms.
But Sensenbrenner says any delay in renewing the provisions would put the American people at greater risk.
Some lawmakers suggest as a compromise extending the expiring provisions of the law by three months. That'd give Congress time to add more protections against what they say are excessive police powers.