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House clears way for PATRIOT Act extension

The US House of Representatives voted Thursday night to clear the road for an extension of controversial provisions in the USA PATRIOT Act. The final vote was 248 to 176, largely along party lines. Just 4 Republicans voted against the extension, while only 15 Democrats voted for it. Under the…

GOP bills to defund United Nations, extend PATRIOT Act blocked

Republicans fail on procedural votes twice in 24 hours WASHINGTON – House Republicans may need a new whip counter. For the second time in the span of 24 hours, the new Republican majority failed to pass a bill under a procedural rule requiring a two-thirds majority that would expedite the…

Obama seeks longer PATRIOT Act extension than Republicans

Faced with a looming vote on a planned one-year extension of special powers authorized in the USA PATRIOT Act, the Obama White House did not object or propose reforms, as the president vowed to do as a candidate. The Obama administration instead asked Congress to grant those powers for an…

PATRIOT Act extension fails procedural vote, expected to return

A plan that would have seen the House of Representatives extend controversial provisions of the PATRIOTAct with little debate failed Tuesday night, as a group of Republicans joined a majority of Democrats in voting no. The House voted 277 to 148 for the PATRIOT Act extension — 23 votes short…

Kucinich challenges tea party to stand up for civil liberties

WASHINGTON – The House is set to take up a measure this week renewing key provisions of the PATRIOT Act that expire Feb. 28. Liberal Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) issued a challenge to tea party supporters and lawmakers in the new Congress: time to show you’re serious about liberty. “The…

Dem’s PATRIOT Act extension would add judicial oversight

Bill would shift next extension away from election year Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced legislation to the Senate Wednesday that would extend expiring provisions of the controversial PATRIOT Act. “Congress now faces a deadline to take action on the expiring provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act,” Sen.…

Congress quietly prepares to renew Patriot Act

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) has introduced a little-noticed bill that intends to once again renew controversial provisions of the Bush administration’s USA Patriot Act that are due to expire this year. When the act was first signed into law, Congress put in some “sunset” provisions to quiet the concerns of…

Think tank: Chances dimming for Patriot Act reform

The USA PATRIOT Act is up for renewal in February, but civil libertarians wanting major changes shouldn’t get their hopes up just yet, says a libertarian think tank. In a letter (.pdf) to Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) last week, Attorney General Eric Holder promised to implement oversight policies designed to…

‘Patriot’ hate groups grew by 244% in 2009

According to the SPLC, a non-profit dedicated to fighting intolerance, the numbers are cause for "grave concern."…

Number of US extremist groups ‘exploded’ in 2009: report

Glenn Beck, Rep. Michele Bachmann singled out for popularizing militia movement ideas Extremist groups surged in the United States in 2009, with anti-government “Patriot” militias leading the way, says a new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center. “The radical right caught fire last year, as broad-based populist anger at…

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