by Matt Pressman
February 9, 2011, 7:50 AM
"The Tea Party’s first major legislative revolt against the Republican establishment has come over…an extension of the Patriot Act? Well, the founding fathers didn’t say anything about monitoring citizens based on the library books they check out, so therefore it must be unconstitutional. [Washington Post]"
From the WaPo (see? still trying to help you, babe) story, it looks like Paul Kane and Felicia Sonmez have the same confusion that you do -
Patriot Act extension fails in the House by seven votes:
|Country Club Republicans|
House Republicans suffered an embarrassing setback Tuesday when they fell seven votes short of extending provisions of the Patriot Act, a vote that served as the first small uprising of the party's tea-party bloc.That should read "House Republican Leaders" suffered a setback. Oh, you modified it a little with "embarrassing". Try this: "House Country Club Republicans were reminded who is in charge now" . . .
The bill to reauthorize key parts of the counter-terrorism surveillance law, which expire at the end of the month, required a super-majority to pass under special rules reserved for non-controversial measures.That part was nice. Keep it.
But it fell short of the required two-thirds after 26 Republicans bucked their leadership, eight of them freshman lawmakers elected in November's midterm elections. With most Democrats opposing the extension, the final tally was 277 members in favor of extension, and 148 opposed.I notice your quotes, much farther down, for the Republicans blaming the Democrats are from Republican leaders of the country club variety. "Bucked their leadership"? Really now? Those border on racially charged words, especially since the Democrats voted in an almost solid, minority block against the President's wishes (just between us, he is a Democrat and leads their party). Fresh back from a Common Cause meeting? Just kidding! I do not engage in the baseless smears that 'professional journalists' are paid for.
The Republicans who control the House made plans to bring the measure back for a quick vote later this month under normal rules, requiring only a simple majority for passage. They blamed House Democrats for the bill's downfall, noting that they provided the lion's share of votes against a bill that President Obama supports.
Here country club Republicans, use some of this.
The vote was the latest signal, though, that on certain matters House leaders could face a sizable resistance to compromise from within their own ranks, both from the 87 GOP freshmen and from conservative veterans who have been emboldened by the newcomers.Yea! You actually distinguish the "House Leaders" from "Republicans" as a group!
Earlier Tuesday, House Republicans pulled a bill to extend assistance to workers who lose jobs due to competition from imports. Conservatives had complained that the bill would put the federal government too squarely into the private economy.
And leaders of the Appropriations Committee heard complaints Tuesday from fellow Republicans on the panel that their bill to slash at least $32 billion in fiscal year 2011 spending was insufficient.I hope this was not a surprise to you two. Maybe it was, but by the time you got this far you used up your quota of surprise words.
The Patriot Act measure would have extended through the end of the year three provisions that are set to expire Feb. 28. One authorizes the FBI to use 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 allows for the surveillance of targets who are not connected to an identified terrorist group.Do you research any of this stuff? The FBI can still do all of those things with a court order or warrant. You know, like the 4th Amendment allows the government to do. Um, you know the Constitution is not a "you can do" list for the citizens, it is a "you are allowed to" list for the government, right?
Democrats hailed the day's events under a press release from Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's office asking a simple question: "Disarray?"
Nice! The first quote of the story showcases Nancy Pelosi's Stalinist view of dissent in one word.
Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-Ohio), who has presented an occasionally lonely opposition to the Patriot Act, said that Tuesday's vote demonstrated that he now had company from more than two dozen Republicans who support the Bill of Rights. "The Patriot Act represents the undermining of civil liberties," Kucinich said after the vote. Republicans "brought [the bill] forward not knowing the votes."See? Even that little man from Mars understands this bit of Tea Party goodness.
House leaders rejected that analysis. "Democrats in Congress voted to deny their own administration's request for key weapons in the war on terror," said Erica Elliott, spokeswoman for Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).Your editor either started or stopped reading before that paragraph. Leaders were distinguished from "Republicans" again.
A large majority of the freshman Republicans did support the extension of the law, which the last GOP president, George W. Bush, staunchly supported. Even some who wavered eventually decided to support the bill.Invoking the president who inspired the Tea Party to begin forming is not helping the truthfulness aspect of your story, if that matters. Oh, I forgot, "truthieness" is what matters to you people.
Rep. Steve Southerland (R-Fla.), a freshman who voted yes, said the measure is "going to need some examination going forward, so all I did today is just, hey, instead of making a wrong decision, we're just going to do a little more due diligence to make the very right decision to both protect our security as well as protect the civil liberties of the American people."If he voted for extension, then he really does not understand and should be hearing from the Tea Party segment of his constituency for a while.
|Contemplation goes with reading.|
"This is just a temporary extension, so the Judiciary Committee can dive a little deeper into the details," said Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), a second-term lawmaker closely aligned with tea party activists. "That seemed fair. I don't want to let it expire without giving it full contemplation."Maybe you have no idea what a great public service you are doing. That one needs a targeted message too. Something like "hey Jason, you needed to contemplate before that vote."
Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), who sponsored the extension, told reporters after the vote that opposition had little to do with the particular provisions being considered Tuesday and more to do with other counter-terrorism tools that have received scrutiny. "People didn't understand it," he said. "A lot of the complaints that we heard were about sections [of the law] not in this bill."Another reporter missed opportunity. Three parts to complain about were listed in this article above (find FBI).
The White House said in a statement Tuesday that it "does not object" to extending the three Patriot Act provisions until December. However, it added, the administration "would strongly prefer" an extension until December 2013, noting that the longer timeline "provides the necessary certainty and predictability" that law enforcement agencies require while at the same time ensuring that Congress can continue to review the law's effectiveness.Well give me a case of the vapors! Obama wants to be emperor and secure it into the empire of his successor.
The Senate is considering three competing timelines, in addition to the House legislation. Among them are proposals that would permanently extend the three provisions or extend them through 2013.Readers, your helpful list of which Senators need a phone call, in addition to your own, is right here.
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