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Posted at 10:52 AM ET, 02/17/2011

House approves Patriot Act extension, sending it to Obama

By Felicia Sonmez

Updated: 2:40 p.m.

The House on Thursday passed a 90-day extension of key provisions of the Patriot Act counterterrorism surveillance law, sending the measure on to President Obama for his signature.

The measure passed on a vote of 279 to 143. It extends three provisions of the law until May 27, a compromise reached by congressional leaders to give lawmakers more time to consider re-authorizing them for a longer period of time.

Thursday's House vote came two days after the Senate passed the short-term extension on a bipartisan vote; it also came a week after an initial House effort to fast-track the extension fell seven votes short of passage in an unanticipated embarrassment for House Republican leaders. Thursday's vote was nearly identical to the initial vote in the House last week, when 277 lawmakers backed the measure and 148 opposed it.

The three Patriot Act provisions -- dealing with roving wiretaps, "lone wolf" terrorism suspects and the government's ability to seize "any tangible items" in the course of surveillance - were set to expire Feb. 28 if Congress did not act to extend them.

The White House said last week that it "would strongly prefer" an extension of the provisions until 2013 but would not object to a shorter-term extension.

Also on Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee met to debate a version of the Patriot Act legislation proposed by the committee's chairman, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). The committee is expected to meet again on March 3 to take up the Leahy bill, which would extend the Patriot Act measures through 2013 and include additional oversight language.

In a statement after the hearing, Leahy urged the committee to vote on his measure on March 3.

"The short-term extension now in effect is, in fact, very short," Leahy said. "This Committee must consider USA PATRIOT Act legislation, and send it to the full Senate, where the Majority Leader has promised a floor debate. We cannot afford undue delays."

The committee's ranking Republican, Sen. Charles Grassley (Iowa), also noted the short 90-day timeline but emphasized the need for lawmakers, especially freshmen on the committee, to have the chance to get fully up to speed on the measure before casting a vote.

"I hope that in the next 90 days we can work together to educate ourselves and, at the least, pass a clean reauthorization of the expiring provisions," Grassley said in his statement before the committee.

By Felicia Sonmez  | February 17, 2011; 10:52 AM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Comments

Patriot… (antonym) TURNCOAT …collaborator, with whom – not the American people or victims of un-patriotatic illegal suvelliance or assaults by illegal weapons developed for war. The Patriots are those who voted against this Act of authorized torture. What those who have voted ‘yes’ to this Bill do not realize is that they will not be in office forever. They to can, if not already, become victims of these illegal suvelliance and torture as so many innocent Americans have become thanks to the Patriot (Torture Authorized) Act. These people should read the ‘Post 9/11 Questions and Answers’ by the U.S. Inspector General…8000 to 10,000 names per day reported on citizens to the Federal government - by whom…rogue federal agencies and Fusion Center felons via SAR reports, then places on 24/7 suvelliance and harassment, and assaults. SAR reports that are compiled on millions of innocent Americans daily, children, women, elderly, and men since they are running out of names to add. Monitored and harassed by the millions of mind-controled idiots (stalkers). This Un-Patriot Act has allowed for the reporting, compiling, invasions and assaults on potentially millions of Americans and why….for the continued TRILLIONS of dollars that these Fusion centers and agencies earn annually. Rogue FBI Agents suspended for illegally GPS tracking innocent Americans, to illegal access to hundreds of thousand of Americans landline and cell phone billing details. Where will it end. Now a stronger reporting of the use of dangerous Chemical trails sprayed over neighborhoods and also by the same pilots who suveill hundreds of thousands of innocent Americans daily; and this includes the neighborhoods of those WHO VOTED YES to this ACT! TRILLIONS of untold wealth to FELONS running and working for rogue government agencies and Fusion Centers all thanks to the Un-Patriot Act! It is unbelievable what is happening here, and we wonder why others fight for their freedom from the United States. Thank you again to those who were truly elected to office for the People. May God Bless and Protect You All.


Posted by: dmiles1 | February 18, 2011 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Patriot… (antonym) TURNCOAT …collaborator, with whom – not the American people or victims of un-patriotatic illegal suvelliance or assaults by illegal weapons developed for war. The Patriots are those who voted against this Act of authorized torture. What those who have voted ‘yes’ to this Bill do not realize is that they will not be in office forever. They to can, if not already, become victims of these illegal suvelliance and torture as so many innocent Americans have become thanks to the Patriot (Torture Authorized) Act. These people should read the ‘Post 9/11 Questions and Answers’ by the U.S. Inspector General…8000 to 10,000 names per day reported on citizens to the Federal government - by whom…rogue federal agencies and Fusion Center felons via SAR reports, then places on 24/7 suvelliance and harassment, and assaults. SAR reports that are compiled on millions of innocent Americans daily, children, women, elderly, and men since they are running out of names to add. Monitored and harassed by the millions of mind-controled idiots (stalkers). This Un-Patriot Act has allowed for the reporting, compiling, invasions and assaults on potentially millions of Americans and why….for the continued TRILLIONS of dollars that these Fusion centers and agencies earn annually. Rogue FBI Agents suspended for illegally GPS tracking innocent Americans, to illegal access to hundreds of thousand of Americans landline and cell phone billing details. Where will it end. Now a stronger reporting of the use of dangerous Chemical trails sprayed over neighborhoods and also by the same pilots who suveill hundreds of thousands of innocent Americans daily; and this includes the neighborhoods of those WHO VOTED YES to this ACT! TRILLIONS of untold wealth to FELONS running and working for rogue government agencies and Fusion Centers all thanks to the Un-Patriot Act! It is unbelievable what is happening here, and we wonder why others fight for their freedom from the United States. Thank you again to those who were truly elected to office for the People. May God Bless and Protect You All.


Posted by: dmiles1 | February 18, 2011 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Ah, how quickly we forget..... :(

More than 3,000 deaths in those two tall buildings and not a single American citizen unfairly prosecuted and imprisoned due to the Patriot Act.

---

How do you know this? How do you know how this act has not been abused?

You don't.

And yet here you are making silly pednantic statements as if you're somehow in the know.

There is concrete reasoning behind our legal system as it is known WHY, historically, authoritarian measures fail and ultiamtely kill those who adopt and support them.

Yet you seem to not grasp this, with no greater insight as to why you look foolish.

Why don't you ever offer your reasoning as to your glib pronouncements?

It makes you suspect, right?

Posted by: thegreatpotatospamof2003 | February 18, 2011 6:17 AM | Report abuse

What a nation of sheep! The people are going to let the government get away with this???

Maybe
---

You can't sense the resentment and contempt with DC?

Wow.

lol.

There is more than 1 way to fight a war...

lol.

Posted by: thegreatpotatospamof2003 | February 18, 2011 5:40 AM | Report abuse

What a nation of sheep! The people are going to let the government get away with this???

Maybe its because the American people cling to notion that they actually chose these self-serving villains that are running (ruining) the country and ravaging the world. The fact is, as the election of Obama and his subsequent behavior confirms, that the only choice there is in a U.S. election is whether to vote for the stooge of the power-mad elite and powerful, with the R behind his name, or the stooge with the D behind his name. Unfortunately, no political system is so easily corrupted by money and power as democracy.

What can be done? I propose that all Americans of all political persuasions boycott the next presidential election. That way at least these evil idiots will will realize they are not deceiving many of us, and whoever is "elected" will not be able to claim a popular mandate.

Posted by: wakeupcall2 | February 17, 2011 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Let's kill this nasty creature. It's like something undead, and keeps returning from the dead. Bring liberty back to America, and kill the Patriot Act forever.

Posted by: samsara15 | February 17, 2011 8:09 PM | Report abuse

"Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous seas of liberty."
--Thomas Jefferson

Posted by: mtpeaks | February 17, 2011 7:56 PM | Report abuse

90 days is an odd increment. Are the targets of this law going to reform and repent in 90 days? Or is the problem we have such indecisive legislators that they want another 90 days to waffle? Is some grand compromise (think the Missouri Compromise) in the works, that is neither grand or much of a compromise? The mis-named Patriot Act has been around 9 years, its warts and benefits are well known. Are there no great legislators who can help their companions capture the benefits and incise the warts? 90 days?

Posted by: merrylees | February 17, 2011 5:42 PM | Report abuse

The only reason we even have a "Patriot Act" is to legitimize what they (FBI & CIA)had been illegally doing for decades. What needs to be done is to totally repeal the Patriot Act. The United States of America is not a police state, but could become one in the stroke of a pen and the means to make it happen is embodied in the Patriot Act & other "counter-terrorist" legislation. In fact, why stop there?

After all, "W" basically declared war on the World, then had the audacity to invoke the War Powers Act. Let's ditch it as well! What "W" did was exactly the type of abuse of authority that was being discussed when the War Powers Act was created.

There have been no shortage of "true believers" in this country who have deceived themselves into thinking they're the masters, not the servants. At least their actions say that anyway...Then they leave public office and write books justifying themselves.

The OSS mentality of "The end justifies the means" is outdated & has created more enemies than it has created friends. Denzel Washington, in "The Siege", say it best..."If we change our way of life in response to what they do, then they win. Hell, they've already won!" Yet another way of putting it is like this..."Take care when fighting a monster, lest you become one." I believe that's attributed to a rather hard core kind of guy - Baron Von Bismarck.

It's up to you, America!!!

You can stand there with your hands in your pockets and passively accept what the ideologues want, or you can contact your congressmen & insist that the necessary changes be made. You don't have to be afraid and let them have their way "as long as I'm safe." That's the way to tyranny...

You did that again during the "midterm elections...It's high time that you become informed & involved voters - not the kind that goes for "Rovian" style soundbites designed to get you to support actions that are not in your best interests.

You know, like the "budget cuts"...A step to disabling, if not destroying, the government is to take away its lifeblood - money. If there's no government, who's going to "have your back"? No one...

That's supposedly why we had a revolution to break away from the UK. For economic survival.

Posted by: theseeker1952 | February 17, 2011 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Why are the tea partiers not protesting these blatantly unconstitutional provisions of this hastily crafted law?

Whatever happened to "Don't tread on me?"

Posted by: ancient_mariner | February 17, 2011 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Guess that whole Constitution reading exercise was just another "show".

The Patriot act is an affront to our forefathers and a threat to all future Americans.

Protections are needed to guard against terrorism - but not when they themselves undermine the founding principles of America more than the terrorism itself.

Posted by: ThrityYearResident | February 17, 2011 2:58 PM
-------------------------

Ah, how quickly we forget..... :(

More than 3,000 deaths in those two tall buildings and not a single American citizen unfairly prosecuted and imprisoned due to the Patriot Act.

Posted by: lingering_lead | February 17, 2011 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Tax cuts can never be repealed, increased governmental powers can never be recinded and they call it progess.

Posted by: ozpunk | February 17, 2011 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Tax cuts can never be repealed, increased governmental powers can never be recinded and they call it progess.

Posted by: ozpunk | February 17, 2011 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Tax cuts can never be repealed, increased governmental powers can never be recinded and they call it progess.

Posted by: ozpunk | February 17, 2011 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Tax cuts can never be repealed, increased governmental powers can never be recinded and they call it progess.

Posted by: ozpunk | February 17, 2011 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Tax cuts can never be repealed, increased governmental powers can never be recinded and they call it progess.

Posted by: ozpunk | February 17, 2011 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Ah, our patriots speak with forked tongues! If there is anything uglier in the actions of our Congress; I guess it would be failing to impeach George and send him to the Hague for a proper hanging!

Posted by: CHAOTICIAN101 | February 17, 2011 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Guess that whole Constitution reading exercise was just another "show".

The Patriot act is an affront to our forefathers and a threat to all future Americans.

Protections are needed to guard against terrorism - but not when they themselves undermine the founding principles of America more than the terrorism itself.

Posted by: ThrityYearResident | February 17, 2011 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Stop voting these idoits in congress!

Posted by: shamken | February 17, 2011 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Congress does the UN-patriotic thing. Cowards. You screwed the American people again.

Posted by: jckdoors | February 17, 2011 12:41 PM | Report abuse

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