House votes to continue Patriot Act extension

02/10/2011

By Felicia Sonmez

The House on Thursday voted to proceed on a measure that would extend key provisions of the Patriot Act counter-terrorism surveillance law, two days after the proposal came up short in a Republican-led effort to approve it under fast-track rules.

The House voted 248-to-176 to proceed on the measure, with nine lawmakers not voting. Only four Republicans voted on Thursday against proceeding, in contrast to the 26 who opposed the bill on Tuesday night.

The four Republicans voting “no” on Thursday were Reps. Ron Paul (Texas), Chris Gibson (N.Y.), Raul Labrador (Idaho) and Tom McClintock (Calif.). All four had opposed the measure on Tuesday. Meanwhile, 172 Democrats voted against proceeding Thursday, up from the 148 who voted “no” on Tuesday.

The House is expected to easily pass the measure when it comes up for a final vote, likely early next week. Then it will get sent on to the Senate, where lawmakers are debating three separate proposed timelines.

The Patriot Act provisions are set to expire on Feb. 28 if Congress does not act to extend them.

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