House Clears Path For Extension Of Government Spying On American Citizens
PATRIOT Act renewal clears House vote, will be passed next week
Feb 11, 2011
Two days after proposals to extend provisions of the draconian PATRIOT Act failed to attract a super majority in a fast track vote, another vote in the House of representatives has cleared the way for the smooth passage of the legislation.
Last night’s vote put in to place a new rule that will allow the legislation to be passed by just a simple majority. It is expected that the House will vote again on the legislation next week, and that it will easily pass.
Earlier in the week, House Republicans had attempted to suspend House rules and pass the extension with limited debate and no amendments. That fell 7 votes short because a 2/3rds majority was required.
Last night’s ballot saw 248 vote in favour of allowing the extension to proceed, while 176 voted against.
Just four Republicans, including Congressman Ron Paul, voted against the extension. On Tuesday 26 Republicans had voted against. The other three Republican nays were Chris Gibson (N.Y.), Raul Labrador (Idaho) and Tom McClintock (Calif.).
Several representatives who ran on a Tea Party platform of restoring civil liberties also voted in favour of the legislation, following a lecture by Homeland Security Head Janet Napolitano, who told the congressional oversight panel that the nation faces a “heightened” terror threat, the like of which has not been seen since 9/11.
Meanwhile, 172 Democrats voted against proceeding Thursday, up from the 148 who voted against the measure on Tuesday.
Excluding the 15 who voted for the extension, Democrats protested the Republican attempt to hold the vote under the “closed rule”. Rep. Sheila Jackson (D-Texas) said Republicans were practicing “unique trickery” by calling the bill back for a second vote.
“We have a right to have a voice and that voice has already been expressed,” said Lee. “What more needs to be said?”