Gavel Grab

Patriot Act Extension Rejected in House

The House of Representatives narrowly defeated Tuesday a measure to temporarily extend  key provisions of the USA Patriot Act, the nation’s main counterterrorism law.

The setback for House Republican leaders came after some tea party linked Republicans voted against the measure, and it fell seven votes shy of a two-thirds supermajority required under a procedure adopted for expedited passage.

Because the provisions are set to expire Feb. 28, a new vote is likely to be scheduled soon under regular rules, according to a Washington Post article.

A number of tea party members view the legislation as over-reaching by the government into private matters, the Los Angeles Times reported, and it said a coalition of veteran Republicans and conservative new lawmakers blocked its passage.

House Democrats split over the bill. Some saw it permitting overly broad surveillance authority. House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, D-Mich., protested that the Patriot Act was “one of the worst laws this body has ever passed.”

The bill would renew the government’s authority to spy on a “lone wolf,” a non-U.S. citizen suspected of terrorism who may not belong to a known terrorist group; and it would extend provisions for roving wiretap court orders and for court orders to seize “any tangible things” judged relevant to a terrorism probe (see Gavel Grab).

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  1. Gavel Grab » Tuesday Gavel Grab Briefs February 15th, 2011 3:45 pm

    […] House of Representatives tried a second time (see Gavel Grab) and this time succeeded in passing a bill to extend key provisions of the USA Patriot Act, the […]

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