After months of political maneuvering, the House is set to open debate Thursday on the future of the sweeping antiterrorism law known as the USA Patriot Act, as the Bush administration pushes to solidify support for the law and Democrats sought to impose new restrictions.
The House vote on whether to extend the government's counterterrorism powers will be the first time either chamber of Congress has considered the act as a whole since it was passed by wide margins just weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks. Officials expect daylong debate on the House floor on Thursday, with a vote probably Friday. The Senate must still consider competing versions of its own.
[. . .]
Representative Bernard Sanders, the Vermont independent who wrote the amendment on library records, called the decision by the committee's Republican leaders to keep his proposal off the bill "an outrage" and a subversion of the democratic process. A similar provision that Mr. Sanders tacked onto an appropriations bill last month passed the House by a wide margin.
The above is from Eric Lichtblau and Scott Shane's "House to Take Up Patriot Act Extension"
in this morning's New York Times -- one of the few non-Roberts article.
It's our spotlight story. If you read one article in the paper this morning, read this one. They've offered a clear summary of what's going on and they've actually gone beyond the usual sources for comments. In addition to Bernie Sanders, you also get Democrat Jim McGovern and Republican David Dreier who, apparently, only clams up on some questions. (You know what questions.)
The article also informs us that Bully Boy's taken his solo act to Baltimore. With J-Ass gone from Justice and his Bullying the USA tour a fading memory, Bully Boy seems to think he can strike a nostalgia vibe. He even tries to sell the Patriot Act on the backs of those who suffered in London. (Did anyone else wonder why brave Bully Boy didn't stop in London to say some encouraging words? Maybe his spare time at the G8 was too busy napping? Maybe he had to rush back immediately because someone forgot to pack his favorite pillow?)
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