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PATRIOT Act extension fails procedural vote, expected to return

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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 of the two-thirds majority needed to pass it under a procedure that allows bills that aren’t controversial to pass quickly.

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But it appears the bill was controversial enough to convince some two dozen tea party-backed Republican freshmen to join a majority of Democrats in voting against it, The Hill reported.

The measure is now expected to return to the House floor for a regular vote that would require a simple majority to pass. If House members vote then as they did Tuesday, the extension will pass easily.

At issue were three core measures in the PATRIOT Act adopted in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks to fill what the government complained were gaps in its abilities to track and catch extremists.

The provisions, which expire at month’s end, allow authorities to use roving wiretaps to track an individual on several telephones; track a non-US national suspected of being “lone-wolf” terrorist not tied to an extremist group; and to seize personal or business records seen as critical to an investigation.

The White House said in a statement that it “strongly supports extension of three critical authorities that our nation’s intelligence and law enforcement agencies need to protect our national security.”

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With the Republican-held House of Representatives set to vote on extending the powers to December 8, the White House said it “would strongly prefer” an extension to December 2013, but “does not object” to the House bill. House Republicans say the 10-month span would provide the time needed to debate and enact a longer extension, and the GOP’s leadership has said it ultimately wants to see the PATRIOT Act made permanent.

That some tea party Republicans joined Democrats in voting against the measure will likely be welcome news to Rep. Dennis Kucinich, who earlier this week issued a challenge to tea party members to stand up for the civil liberties they say they cherish by opposing the PATRIOT Act, which has been severely criticized by civil libertarians since its original passing after the 9/11 attacks.

“I am hopeful that members of the Tea Party who came to Congress to defend the Constitution will join me in challenging the reauthorization,” Kucinich said in a statement.

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With a report from AFP


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‘Outrageous and criminal behavior’: Internet blows up at graphic video of Buffalo Police pushing over an elderly man

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On Thursday, footage emerged of police in Buffalo, New York pushing an elderly man to the ground, and refusing to help him as he lay bleeding profusely from a head injury.

The footage triggered immediate outrage on social media.

Horrible. I pray he’s ok. https://t.co/wL2gcNeAIT

— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) June 5, 2020

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WATCH: Protester bled from his ear after being shoved by police — cops say he ‘tripped’

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SHocking video from Buffalo, New York was posted online on Thursday after a large group of police confronted a lone protester -- and then violently shoved him.

"Shortly after Buffalo’s curfew started, city police and State Police swept through the area of Niagara Square directly in front of City Hall to clear the area where a protest was finishing. An unidentified, older man was hit shoved by two officers in the line. The man lost his balance and fell to the pavement, audibly hitting his head with blood running out from under his head," WBFO-TV reports.

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Trump aides are compiling candidates to replace Mark Esper if Trump decides to fire him: report

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On Thursday, Politico reported that although Defense Secretary Mark Esper's job appears safe for now, aides to President Donald Trump are compiling a list of potential nominees to replace him if the president changes his mind and decides to fire him.

"An administration official and two people close to the White House say staffers in recent days have pulled together a list of possible candidates for Defense secretary if Trump does choose to fire Esper," reported Lara Seligman, Daniel Lippman, and Meridith McGraw. "At the top of that list is Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, who was Esper’s No. 2 before taking the Army job last summer, the people said. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), an outspoken Trump ally who has previously been considered for the position, is also in the mix, according to one of the people."

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