Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Patriot Act Extension Passes On Simple Majority Vote

Patriot Act Extension Passes On Simple Majority Vote

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An extension of several provisions of the PATRIOT Act, which failed to pass the House last week under a procedural motion which required a two-thirds super-majority, passed on Monday night under a simple majority vote.

The vote to extend several key provisions of the Act which had been set to expire was 275 -144. There were 27 Republicans who voted against the bill and 65 Democrats who voted in favor. President Barack Obama supports the renewal of the provisions.

Here's the final roll call.

Late Update: As Charlie Savage reports:

The provisions allow investigators to get "roving wiretap" court orders allowing them to follow terrorism suspects who switch phone numbers or providers; to get orders allowing them to seize "any tangible things" relevant to a security investigation, like a business's customer records; and to get national-security wiretap orders against non-citizen suspects who are not connected to any foreign power.
Without new legislation, the provisions would expire on Feb. 28. House Republicans pressed the short-term extension so the Judiciary Committee, which is now under Republican control, could hold hearings on them.

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