House Unexpectedly Defeats Patriot Act

The newly-minted House Republican leadership botched a vote Tuesday night when it presumed it had the necessary support to reauthorize the Patriot Act, the anti-terrorism law imposed after September 11th.

The GOP expected little trouble with the bill. So Republicans brought the Patriot Act to the floor under a special procedure that requires a two-thirds vote for passage. It’s a maneuver that’s typically reserved for non-controversial legislation or bills that carry wide support.

Renewing that Patriot Act had certainly had wide support. 277 members voted in favor of the measure compared to just 148 nays.

But that’s short of the two-thirds supermajority. Which means the House defeated the bill.

Nice. More here.


  1. LOL

    Laugh out Loud, Funny.

    The Republicans have been storming the gates since they took over the house taking on all their PowerPoint points – Obamacare repeal legislation – trying to show how their going to save us all and it backfires on them.

    How about instead of playing games we take a serious look at the problems and bring not just a “Repeal mentality” but a “Here’s what’s wrong and here’s how I’ll fix it mentality”.

    Simple reason they don’t do that is that they don’t have any answers other than “Less Government”. Can someone please show me an instance were a government program was created before a problem existed. Potential problems and imaginary problems count as problems in this request. So even if the problem only existed in someone’s head it was still a problem.

    Again. Please anyone. Name a government program that was created before a problem existed.

  2. “Can someone please show me an instance were a government program was created before a problem existed.”

    A better question to ask is Can someone please show me an instance were a problem was made better by a government program? I will give you some points for infrastructure but even that could be done better.

    Here are some programs I am contemplating.

    War on Drugs
    War on Poverty
    Dept of Education
    Social Security

    My latest and favorite is about a person that I know who has been on unemployment for a large part of 2010 and paid less than $400 in taxes but is getting a $9,000 tax return. How does that make things better? I don’t know what I will have to pay in this year but I guarantee that I will have to pay a lot. Now why is it better then the government has chosen to punish me for being employed while rewarding those who have remained unemployed? I am not saying that anyone should be left high and dry but how is the tax system fair?

    Also I want to make it clear that this person didn’t do anything wrong. In other words this was not a scam or fraud. They had a professional do their taxes and that was the amount that the system says they should get back. It is just how the system works.

    To ask for a government program that was created before a problem existed is silly. Many government programs get created because people make bad choices and other people want to nullify the consequences of those bad choices over and over again. Just because something can be done doesn’t mean that it should be done.

    I did think the Republicans stepping on their own toes was pretty funny though.

  3. The whole “War on …” programs take a simplistic view of a problem and try to fix it without a complete understanding of the problem or worse unwillingness to address the real issues. They also tend to be the most unwilling to admit when they are wrong.

    I’m not saying that the government is going to do a better job of fixing a problem. I’m just saying that the programs that get created are attempts to fix problems that the system hasn’t been able to fix itself. The biggest problem with government fixes is that people tend to say “Here’s what were going to do..” and then they walk away. No program public or private can expect to operate perfectly forever.

  4. I’m not suggesting that a government program will be better. I’m suggesting that apparently the private sector fixes were failing.

    If no people were starving or homeless because they lacked the resources to live then social security would never have been created. Capitalism doesn’t give a damn about people, companies are only interested in profit and if it doesn’t generate profit then they don’t care.

    We would not have the EPA if rivers didn’t catch fire. We wouldn’t have the FDA if rat parts weren’t in our hamburger. We would have OSHA if people didn’t get killed at work. All these businesses can thank their careless diregard for society for the regulation that they have to deal with.

    Can it be done better? Yes. So let’s get people interested in actually fixing the problems.

  5. I don’t know how YOU judge success but I would say that government has made poverty and education in America worse not better.

    You said the private sector failed because people went hungry or were homeless. There are people homeless and hungry today with the governments help? Does that mean the government has failed also? When can it be declared a success of failure? In other words how much more time does government get to fix the problem before we can declare it a failure or celebrate its success?

    I suspect there will be hunger and homelessness long after individual liberty and personal responsibility are just words that the people who follow us will read from their government approved reading materials.

  6. Well, first Buck you are a politician you answered my question with a question. Please take that as the tongue-in-cheek response that it is meant as. LOL

    Now, seriously to your point. My original statement was meant to point out that government doesn’t grow spontaneously. There is always a problem that someone feels needs to be addressed that they feel unable to take on themselves.

    Now regarding the poor and homeless, I oversimplified my original statement about social security. It’s original intent was to deal with woman and children without resources. Granted as you would point out it didn’t stop there but I think that social security isn’t the same as the other items I mentioned. Poverty and homelessness are complex problems with multiple causes – mental illness for one. Social Security is meant to be a safety net against poverty and homelessness caused by being too old or too young to work. Our failing is that we allowed the government to borrow from fund for one but that we didn’t address the problems caused by increasing life expectance and the “Baby Boomer” generation. The concept that there would always be more workers that retirees funding the plan falls apart when people started living longer. Frankly, I think they figured people were going to be dead before they actually started claiming it.

    The government did fail to address poverty and homelessness because it is a complex issue with multiple causes and simplified answers will not solve the problem. It is more than they just ‘need to get a job and pull themselves up by their bootstraps’. It is more than just ‘give them money’. These are the typical solutions given by the respective sides.

    I was trying to think of a government expansion that occurred without a problem existing and I couldn’t come up with one. I did, however, come up with a problem that people thought they had where private sector interests dealt with the ‘problem’ before government got involved too far. Movie ratings. I know it’s not life threatening and I know that it’s far from perfect but it’s was and attempt by the private sector to deal with a concern of the people before government got involved. So it is possible for private sector to deal with problems but I think too often they place short term profit over addressing concerns and that’s what leads to people looking for something powerful enough to deal with it which means government involvement.

    Now would we need a EPA if say BP had followed what are actually standard practices in that gulf spill. How about the oil spill in Kalamazoo, they knew that pipeline was bad and chose to do nothing. Probably after doing several risk and cost benefit analysis that said it would be cheaper to pay for a clean up than fix the pipe. I am not saying that the government solution is perfect. I’m saying that I don’t trust business to police itself any better than government regulation but at least government is supposed to be of the people, by the people, and for the people. Business is about profit.

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