Renewal of PATRIOT Act Provisions Fails in House Vote

Although nobody was paying attention anyways I thought I’d let you know that the attempt to fast-track renewals of certain provisions of the PATRIOT Act failed in a House vote last evening. If this were a landslide vote I’d have had a bit more confidence in our “representatives” but it narrowly failed to achieve the 290 votes by a mere 13.

The three clauses that are up for renewal are first the provision that allows the FBI to perform warrantless wiretaps, second the provision that allows the government access to any desired records on your person, and third the provision that allows the FBI to place people under surveillance who have no known ties to terrorist organizations.

This doesn’t mean the PATRIOT Act is dead. In fact the White House would prefer to have the three provisions extended until 2013:

The White House on Tuesday said in a statement that it “does not object” to extending the three Patriot Act provisions until December 2011 although it “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 congressional oversight by maintaining a sunset.

Hope and change ladies and gentlemen. The House and Senate both have competing bills for renewing these provisions of the PATRIOT Act. In face one of our all time favorite “representatives,” Feinstien, is on the case to rape your rights:

In addition to the House legislation, the Senate is considering three competing timelines, including proposals that would permanently extend the three provisions or extend them through 2013. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), both of whom have introduced competing proposals, said Monday that committee members continue to work toward an agreement but declined to speculate as to the end result.

Surprised? I didn’t think so.