02-09-2011, 07:29 PM
Congress to vote on Thursday to extend Patriot Act
Here is our chance to kill this reprehensible piece of legislation. Once and for all.
Please call your Congressperson EARLY tomorrow (Thursday) morning and encourage him/her to vote against extending the Act.
We stop it now-- and maybe we are on the threshold of a new day.
Here is the Capitol Hill Switchboard number. Simply dial it and ask to be put through to your congressperson's office. It's as simple as that. Then you give 'em what for.
202 - 224 - 3121
02-09-2011, 07:34 PM
Patriot Act extension to be brought up again on Thursday
By Felicia Sonmez
The House on Thursday will again take up a bill that would extend until December key provisions of the Patriot Act counterterrorism surveillance law, two days after the measure fell seven votes short of the super-majority required for passage under fast-track rules.
The bill will be brought up again under a "closed rule," meaning that no amendments can be offered. It will need only a simple majority to pass instead of the two-thirds that was required on Tuesday.
That means that the bill will likely be approved. On Tuesday, 277 lawmakers supported the measure, well more than half of the chamber's members.
Lawmakers will vote on Thursday on the rules governing debate on the measure. That will be followed by debate and a vote on the measure itself, which has yet to be scheduled. A House Republican leadership aide said that GOP leaders are working with members to address any concerns they might have and that they expect the bill to move forward "in the coming days."
The timeline facing lawmakers could be tricky. The three provisions that would be extended by the bill are set to expire on Feb. 28 unless Congress acts.
Even if the House passes its version of the legislation well before then, the Senate - which is in recess until next week - still has to sign off. And the Senate is debating three different timelines, any of which would extend the Patriot Act provisions beyond the December date called for in the House bill.
Key members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have indicated that Feb. 17 is the target date by which the upper chamber must act in order for the provisions to be extended.
The failure on Tuesday of the Patriot Act extension was one of several unexpected turns on the House floor in recent days. Earlier Tuesday, over objections from conservatives, GOP leaders pulled a bill that would have assisted U.S. workers hurt by overseas competition.
And on Wednesday, a measure to take back $180 million in funds the U.S. has already given to the United Nations also fell short of a two-thirds super-majority.
The bill, which had been fast-tracked, failed on a 259-to-169 vote. It had been sponsored by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) but was opposed by House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King (R-N.Y.), who was one of two Republicans to vote against it Wednesday.
Democrats charged that the failed votes indicate that the GOP is in "disarray."
"I don't know why the leadership would call votes on issues that they don't have any idea of what the outcome's likely to be," said Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), one of the most oustpoken opponents of the Patriot Act. "This is twice in a row. I'm not really sure what the strategy is. ... It's not working for them."