Washington, DC — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid released the following statement on news today that the Justice Department’s Inspector General has concluded the Bush Administration grievously abused its powers under the Patriot Act by misusing National Security Letters. "It is time to place meaningful checks on the Bush Administration’s ability to misuse the Patriot Act by overusing national security letters. The days of Congress giving this Administration a blank check are over. Congressional and judicial oversight protects the rights of innocent Americans and does not hamper the government’s fight against terrorism. "From not providing our troops the equipment they need going into combat or providing our vets the health care they were promised coming home, to playing politics with our national security and justice system, the Bush Administration has abused its power and the public trust, and it has proven the need for accountability. Congress must once again serve as the check on the executive branch that our Founders intended it to be."