Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Patriot Act - #2631 - Patriot Act Facts - Heritage Foundation (2) Surprise: Vote to Extend Three Patriot Acts Provisions Fails in House - Hot Air

Last night, despite a strong majority vote in favor of the bill, the House of Representatives fell seven votes short of the two-thirds they needed to suspend the rules and pass three key counterterrorism amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Many of the headlines you will read today will say things like “Patriot Act Extension Fails in House,” but the reality is that much of the PATRIOT Act was already permanently enacted. Of the three amendments to FISA at issue in last night’s vote, two were part of the original PATRIOT Act, one was part of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, and all are set to expire at the end of this month. Eight of the 26 Republican no votes came from freshmen who, Politico reports, “felt completely uniformed by their leadership.” Representative Todd Rokita (R–IN), who voted for the bill, even told Politico that he “didn’t know anything about [the vote] until today.” The three amendments voted on last night have been extensively modified over the years and now include significant new safeguards, including substantial court oversight. They include: (1) Roving Surveillance Authority (2) Business Record Orders (3) The Lone Wolf Provision. Opponents of these provisions have produced little evidence of any PATRIOT Act misuse. All of the provisions above are subject to routine oversight by both the FISA court and Congress, and no single provision of the PATRIOT Act has ever been found unconstitutional. Congress should not let the sunset provisions expire and should instead seek permanent authorization. Read more about the updates to each one of these provisions............

Surprise: Vote to Extend Three Patriot Act Provisions Fails in House - Hot Air -A bit embarrassing for Boehner insofar as this was expected to be a slam dunk. So much so, in fact, that they used a fast-track procedure to bring it to the floor, which required a two-thirds vote instead of a simple majority.  What could go wrong?  Nine freshmen and three inaugural members of the House Tea Party Caucus cast votes against a proposed extension of three Patriot Act provisions Tuesday night, helping block the measure from passage under fast-track rules…  Those [Republicans] who voted no Tuesday night included Roscoe G. Bartlett (Md.), Paul Broun (Ga.) and Walter B. Jones (N.C.), all of whom were original members of the House Tea Party Caucus when it was founded last summer.  And nine [Republican] freshmen also voted no: Justin Amash (Mich.), Michael G. Fitzpatrick (Pa.), Christopher P. Gibson (N.Y.), Tom Graves (Ga.), Randy Hultgren (Ill.), Raul R. Labrador (Idaho), Robert Schilling (Ill.), David Schweikert (Ariz.) and Rob Woodall (Ga.).  Read more.........

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