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Posted at 7:17 PM ET, 02/14/2011

Patriot Act extension passes House, one week after unexpected defeat

By Felicia Sonmez

Updated: Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2:30 p.m.

The House approved Monday a measure that would extend key provisions of the Patriot Act through December. Their vote came less than a week after House Republicans suffered an embarrassing defeat when the same bill was brought up under fast-track rules and failed by seven votes.

The measure passed Monday night on a vote of 275 to 144, two fewer than it received last week. But this time, no two-thirds super-majority was required for passage, only a simple majority. Twenty-seven Republicans joined most Democrats on Monday to vote "no," while 65 Democrats joined with most Republicans to support the measure.

The bill would extend three key provisions of the counterterrorism surveillance law that are set to expire Feb. 28, unless Congress moves to reauthorize them.

One of the provisions authorizes the FBI to continue using roving wiretaps on surveillance targets; the second allows the government to access "any tangible items," such as library records, in the course of surveillance; and the third is a "lone wolf" provision that allows for the surveillance of targets who are not connected to an identified terrorist group.

Last week, 26 Republicans and 122 Democrats voted "no" to the measure. House Democrats seized on that vote as a sign of Republican "disarray," while Republicans pointed the finger at Democrats for opposing a measure supported by the Obama administration.

Democrats offered a motion ahead of Monday night's final vote that would have changed the text of the measure. The motion, submitted by Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.), ultimately failed on a 186-to-234 vote. Two Republicans, Reps. Ron Paul (Texas) and Walter Jones (N.C.), bucked their party and voted with Democrats to support the motion.

The motion would have added language to the measure stating that investigations of U.S. citizens under an extended authority "shall be conducted in a manner that complies with the Constitution of the United States," including the Bill of Rights, and would have expedited any federal court proceedings involving investigations of U.S. citizens related to the Patriot Act.

All eyes are now on the Senate, where lawmakers are debating three competing proposals that would either permanently extend the provisions or extend them through 2013.

By Felicia Sonmez  | February 14, 2011; 7:17 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Comments

Yeah, happy many of you have asked about said instances - here is one and don't forget about Bradley Manning of Wikileaks lore. Sibel Edmonds is another -

http://www.t-room.us/2011/02/cp-wmr-guest-article-tea-party-crashes-the-most-unpatriotic-act/comment-page-1/#comment-24782

Posted by: htansey1 | February 17, 2011 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Finding out about abuses under the PATRIOT Act is probably nearly impossible. The whole point behind the PATRIOT Act is to circumvent open government and the Constitutionally established checks and balances that ordinarily protect against government abuse.

It's a bit like figuring out who voted how in the U.S. Senate during the March, 2010 re-authorization: You can't because it was done on a 'voice vote' -- you are not entitled to know and the point is to make sure you don't know.

That's your 'open, transparent, accountable government' in action under the current two-party system... Dems and Pubs alike...

There is *no* terrorist or terrorist organization that is worth giving up the liberties and the money that the United States has given up since September 11, 2001.

Posted by: srb2 | February 15, 2011 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Gunny, I appreciate the feedback. However, I am still not able to find any instances of undue prosecution(s) as a result of the abuse of the Patriot Act's provisions.

Posted by: lingering_lead | February 15, 2011 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Is anyone aware of any instances in the past 10 years in which an honest American citizen has been unduly prosecuted and convicted via the Patriot Act? If our 4th Amendment rights are being trampled, surely there is a litany of folks who have been harmed. Where can I find this information?

Posted by: lingering_lead | February 15, 2011 2:10 PM | Report abuse
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
There are all kind of news articles about the misuse of the Patriot Act. (Google misuse of Patriot Act) But finding all the information you want may be hard as the government does not have to disclose much of their actions under the Patriot Act.

Posted by: gunnysgt77 | February 15, 2011 2:52 PM | Report abuse

A sad day. The Prez needs to veto this if it passes the Senate. Remember this next election day.

Posted by: jckdoors | February 15, 2011 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Is anyone aware of any instances in the past 10 years in which an honest American citizen has been unduly prosecuted and convicted via the Patriot Act? If our 4th Amendment rights are being trampled, surely there is a litany of folks who have been harmed. Where can I find this information?

Posted by: lingering_lead | February 15, 2011 2:10 PM | Report abuse

The "patriot" act (which is just the OPPOSITE) was one of the WORST bills ever enacted by the congress. It is an affront to the US Constitution and Bill of Rights (neither of which have ever been read by any lunatic-left d-crat socialist) and it is the worst piece of legislation ever supported by Republicans. It must suffer the same fate as obozocare: repeal it, tear it up into a million pieces, burn the pieces, bury the ashes, then cover the burial site with 1000 tons of concrete.

Posted by: TeaPartyNation | February 15, 2011 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: grunk "I guess if Obama signs off on this he is as much of a worm as the republicans?"

He did, in Feb 2010 when he signed a one-year extension of these provisions.

Posted by: MDLaxer | February 15, 2011 11:46 AM | Report abuse

It has to be one of the all-time ironies. Our politicians are busy passing their fascist "Patriotic" laws to obliterate the Fourth Amendment, while at the same time they are calling for the end of police-state regimes in the Middle East. Hypocrisy at its worst.

Posted by: mongolovesheriff | February 15, 2011 11:42 AM | Report abuse

I guess if Obama signs off on this he is as much of a worm as the republicans?

Posted by: grunk | February 15, 2011 11:09 AM | Report abuse

The USA Patriot Act was passed as follows:

Passed the House on October 24, 2001 (Yeas: 357; Nays: 66)

Passed the Senate on October 25, 2001 (Yeas: 98; Nays: 1)

This was hardly along party lines. Both parties share equal blame for this assault on our Constitution and our way of life.

Posted by: MDLaxer | February 15, 2011 11:09 AM | Report abuse

"275 including 65 Democrats denied the Constituional protections for Americans and supported the fascist activities establisehed under Bush/Cheney."

Yes, and lets not forget that a year ago, when Democrats had huge majorities in both the House and the Senate, and President Obama (Peace candidate; Change Candidate?) in the White House, they extended this exact same legislation.

Now let's see if the Democrat-controlled Senate, and President Obama will protect American citizens, or will they also "show their true colors"?

Posted by: MDLaxer | February 15, 2011 11:05 AM | Report abuse

"... it is difficult to understand why 27 Republicans would vote with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi,..."

Perhaps they understand that these provisions violate the 4th Amendment. And they understand that an unrestrained federal government is a much greater danger to the U.S. and its constitution than 100 Al Qaeda members running around in the mountains of Afghanistan.

Posted by: MDLaxer | February 15, 2011 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Rpublicans showed their true colors by voting down protection for American citizens.

The amendment wanted simply that investigations "shall be conducted in a manner that complies with the Constitution of the United States," including the Bill of Rights, and would have expedited any federal court proceedings involving investigations of U.S. citizens related to the Patriot Act.


275 including 65 Democrats denied the Constituional protections for Americans and supported the fascist activities establisehed under Bush/Cheney.

Traitors all!!!

Posted by: JohninConnecticut | February 15, 2011 10:50 AM | Report abuse

ohoward:

Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

This is no longer about Democrats or Republicans. This is about the Constitution of the United States of America. Follow it and we return to being a great nation. Ignore it and we all fail together.

Posted by: bugmenot3 | February 15, 2011 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Folks, if you do not fight and defeat terrorism, at all cost, there are no other freedoms left. Can you understand that?

Posted by: oharward | February 15, 2011 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Defeat radical Islamic Muslims around the world, at all cost

By Oscar Y. Harward

Again, why did so many in the U.S. House vote “NO” on extending the “Patriot Act”. The “Patriot Act”: http://www.fincen.gov/statutes_regs/patriot/ was initiated to eavesdrop on specific communications to ascertain critical intelligence to prevent terrorism in America, and protecting Americans.

On February 14, 2011, Republicans voted 210-Yes to 27-No. Democrats voted 65-Yes to 127-NO. There are no Independents in the House http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2011/roll036.xml.

And again, it is understandable for 117 Capitol Hill Democrats would vote “NO” with Rep. Nancy Pelosi and many additional anti-American voting Democrats; it is difficult to understand why 27 Republicans would vote with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Elijah Cummings, Barney Frank (MA), Dennis Kucinich, Maxine Waters, and Henry Waxman.

These same 27 Republicans voted “NO” and against Speaker of the House John Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Michele Bachmann, Marsha Blackburn, Sue Myrick, Mike Pence, and others.

The question is who led 27 Republicans to vote in support of terrorists without any government intelligence communications, and more potential of inviting terrorism within our United States of America?. These who vote allowing terrorists to communicate without any US government intelligence are opening the doors for more additional terrorism, and within our own country. These Congressional Representatives are voting anti-American and should be held accountable whenever terror hits. Each and all must be intelligent enough to understand the significance of their votes, or are they? Each Representative who voted “NO” voted in support of terrorism.

As a Jesse Helms, Ronald Reagan conservative, terrorism must be defeated at all cost. If it takes only nations who support Judeo-Christian values, so be it, but defeat all radical Islamic Muslims around the world before they kill Americans.

Luke 23:34 - Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

Posted by: oharward | February 15, 2011 9:09 AM | Report abuse

The repubs will never admit any Bush policy was wrong even when they know it is.

Posted by: SWAMPYPD | February 15, 2011 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Interesting that Republicans think the Patriot Act is un Constitutional but making deadbeats pay for their own health insurance is not.

Posted by: metroman76 | February 15, 2011 7:33 AM | Report abuse

Uh, excuse me, but what happened to that business about citing the Constitutional AUTHORITY that justifies this?

Posted by: beth-wade | February 15, 2011 6:54 AM | Report abuse

"One of the provisions authorizes the FBI to continue using roving wiretaps on surveillance targets; the second allows the government to access "any tangible items," such as library records, in the course of surveillance; and the third is a "lone wolf" provision that allows for the surveillance of targets who are not connected to an identified terrorist group."

So last week Republicans tried to stop these unconstitutional provisions from being extended. And that was an embarrassment? I'd say no, that was courageous.

Today's vote was an embarrassment, for both parties.

Why aren't Democrats embarrassed for having voted to extend these provisions last year?


Posted by: MDLaxer | February 14, 2011 11:17 PM | Report abuse

I wish the supporters of the ill-named Patriot Act understood the Constitution a little better, especially the Bill of Rights.

Instead, they act in the name of internal spying and bigger government every chance they get.

This bill might actually encourage "terrorists" to steal books from the library so the powers-that-be can't track their reading preferences. If there are some books that are THAT dangerous, they shouldn't be in the library in the first place, unless the government puts them there only to see who takes them out.

Posted by: marik7 | February 14, 2011 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Obama promised change, but so far he's just Dubya with darker skin.

Posted by: thomasmc1957 | February 14, 2011 7:37 PM | Report abuse

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