By Felicia Sonmez of the Washington Post
A measure to extend key provisions of the Patriot Act counterterrorism surveillance law through December failed the House Tuesday night, with more than two-dozen Republicans bucking their party to oppose the measure.
The House measure, which was sponsored by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) and required a two-thirds majority for passage, failed on a 277-to-148 vote. Twenty-six Republicans voted with 122 Democrats to oppose the measure, while 67 Democrats voted with 210 Republicans to back it. Ten members did not vote.
The measure would have extended three key provisions of the Patriot Act that are set to expire on Monday, 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 of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorist Prevention Act that allows for the surveillance of targets who are not connected to an identified terrorist group.
The vote came as several tea party-aligned members of the new freshman class had been expressing doubts about the measure.
I started a discussion about this in the main forum, but this seems like a better place for it. It will come up again for a vote in a few weeks though, so I am pessimistic that it will stay down for long. Hopefully it will bring the issue to light and the political fall out will convince those 67 democrats to vote nay next time... and also hopefully fucktard Obama will get on board with what he promised in '08.