Leave Us Alone!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

H.R. 3199 - Victory, for Now

The U.S. Senate defeated a cloture motion on H.R. 3199 yesterday, allowing a filibuster to continue. I wonder what effect this New York Times report had on the vote.

Opponents of the bill offered a continuing resolution to extend the so-called USA "Patriot" Act by three months while negotiations continue, but this was rejected by the White House and congressional Republicans. If the "Patriot" Act is as vital as they say it is, why would the GOP leaders let it expire? The Associated Press reports:
If the Patriot Act provisions expire, Republicans say they will place the blame on Democrats in next year’s midterm elections. “In the war on terror, we cannot afford to be without these vital tools for a single moment,” White House press secretary Scott McClellan said. “The time for Democrats to stop standing in the way has come.”

So, there are two possibilities: either the expiring provisions of the "Patriot" Act really aren't as vital as the GOP leadership says they are, or the GOP would rather play political games than keep Americans safe from terrorism.

As for blaming Democrats in next year's elections, perhaps the GOP's strategists should read this article from Dave Weigel at Reason:

When Patriots Dissent
Surprise: Standing up to the PATRIOT Act can be good politics.


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