The House of Representatives’ failed attempt to “fast track” the extension of the Patriot Act failed last week for lack of a supermajority, but was still able to pass readily in the normal manner today, with much the same voting as the last time.
Indeed last week’s 26 Republican opponents still remained in place, and were joined by an additional freshmen GOP congressman, Rep. Richard Hanna (R – NY), who didn’t vote either way in the previous vote. This was overcome however by two additional Democratic supporters.
Though much of Congress supports the act, the freshmen Congressmen were enough to sway what everyone had assumed was an easy “fast track” vote into a narrow defeat, and officials seemed relieved to have finally passed the nine month extension.
But the passage in the House still needs to be reconciled with the Senate, which is debating amongst three separate versions, which are longer-term extensions than the House version. One of the versions, being pushed by Senator Grassley, would make the provisions eternal and without oversight.