House having emergency Patriot Act Meeting today (Wednesday)Submitted by frankmcs on Wed, 02/09/2011 - 15:44
House Rules schedules 'emergency' meeting to move Patriot Act extension
By Pete Kasperowicz - 02/09/11 02:23 PM ET
The House Rules Committee has announced an "emergency" meeting today at 3 p.m. in order to approve a rule for considering legislation that would extend three surveillance authorities under the Patriot Act that expire at the end of this month. The "emergency" designation is used by the committee when a meeting is called without providing for more advance notice.
The meeting is needed because the House on Tuesday failed to approve this extension under a suspension of House rules, which required a two-thirds vote. Approving a rule for considering the bill will allow for debate time on the bill and possibly some amendments, but most importantly will allow the measure to pass by a simple majority.
The bill could be reconsidered by the House as early this week under a rule, but a vote has not yet been scheduled.
The bill is H.R. 514, which would let the government access business records, conduct roving wiretaps, and monitor individual terrorists until December 8 of this year. The Senate is considering two bills that would extend these authorities for three years, and one bill that provides a permanent extension.