Civil Liberties

PATRIOT Act Sent Packing?


Almost no chance it'll stick, but that's the gist of this report:

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.

With 425 members voting, 284 yea votes were necessary to cross the two-thirds threshold for passage. 26 Republicans voted against renewing the law.

"Look at the 'Don't Tread on Me flag.' It doesn't say don't tread on me, but it's okay if you spy," said Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), one of the most ardent opponents of the Patriot Act. "What the Republican leadership didn't count on is that they have some new members who are freshmen who are conservative, libertarian, who really do believe in civil liberties."

Eight Republicans whom the GOP regards as freshmen voted against the reauthorization. That's precisely the number of yea votes Republicans needed to pass the bill.

Wow. No word yet on the freshman defectors. But before you get your hopes up:

It's unclear when the House will take the mulligan and try to pass the bill again. With 277 votes in favor of reauthorizing the Patriot Act, there is enough support to approve the bill under the traditional system that requires only a simple majority for passage.

Reason on the PATRIOT Act here.


More than two dozen Republicans bucked their leadership in the vote, by far the biggest defection for the House GOP since it took over the lower chamber. Until tonight's vote, Republicans voted together in all but two votes this year, and in those two votes, only one Republican voted with Democrats.

Republicans voting against the bill were Reps. Justin Amash (Mich.), Roscoe Bartlett (Md.), Rob Bishop (Utah), Paul Broun (Ga.), John Campbell (Calif.), John Duncan (Tenn.), Mike Fitzpatrick (Pa.), Chris Gibson (N.Y.), Tom Graves (Ga.), Dean Heller (Nev.), Randy Hultgren (Ill.), Tim Johnson (Ill.), Walter Jones (N.C.), Jack Kingston (Ga.), Raul Labrador (Idaho), Connie Mack (Fla.), Kenny Marchant (Texas), Tom McClintock (Calif.), Ron Paul (Texas), Denny Rehberg (Mont.), Phil Roe (Tenn.), Dana Rohrabacher (Calif.), Bobby Schilling (Ill.), David Schweikert (Ariz.), Rob Woodall (Ga.), and Don Young (Alaska).

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  1. Nothing to see here.

  2. I hope it sticks. The PATRIOT act is as egregious now as it was then.

  3. I don’t know which ones are freshmen, but the Republican votes against are listed here.

    1. Off the top of my head, at least four of them are not freshmen, which is actually better news than if they all were.

      1. Raul Labrador is a freshmen Republican who voted against it. Sweet. His seat – held by Bill Otter, was the only one to vote against it first time around back in the halcyon 9/11 days, when it was ‘popular.’

        1. Umm… Ron Paul and Don Young?

  4. “What the Republican leadership didn’t count on is that they have some new members who are freshmen who are conservative, libertarian, who really do believe in civil liberties.”

    Maybe we don’t get our hopes up for this fight, but this stuff tends to add up over time.

    The Tea Party airing its own separate response to the SOTU address–over the objections of the Republicans–was another data point.

    We get enough such data points lined up, and there may be cause for hope. Rome wasn’t completely jacked up in a day, …

  5. Reason’s heart throb Jeff Flake voted for it. What is it you guys love about him so? His awesome abs? Some bullshit about earmarks?

    1. a|2.8.11 @ 10:30PM|#
      “Reason’s heart throb Jeff Flake voted for it. What is it you guys love about him so? His awesome abs? Some bullshit about earmarks?”
      Gee, really have to prove something, do you?

      1. Seriously! It’s as bad a Max, the pet yorkie, trolling about Ayn Rand taking (OMG) Social Security!!!

        Get a night life a & Max

        1. “Get a night life a & Max”

          Says the person defending Jeff Flake at 11:46 pm.

      2. It’s a fair question. More recent Reason heartthrob “Pauly blue-eyes” Ryan is also noticeably absent from the nay votes.

        1. I disagree that it’s a fair question. I lurk here quite a bit, and I remember no Jeff Flake love in. It may be fair to ask why Paul Ryan isn’t on the “No” list, as his name is bandied about quite a bit, but most lovin’ around here goes on between the commentariat; not really much fanboy love for any particular congress critter. That I’ve noticed, I should disclaim.

          1. I get what you mean, and it is basically true. I would have to go back and review previous post if I wanted to advance a claim that the editors are starry eyed in love with Ryan. I just don’t recall. As for the substance of the two being worthy of libertarian support, that I saw as the more pertinent part of ‘a’s question. Perhaps, I was being to generous to him below in ignoring the dippy framing and addressing the only part of his question that really mattered.

          2. I was disappointed. No jeff-flake love-in?


          3. Jesus, you can use Reason’s search engine if you really don’t know what I’m talking about, but here’s one example:

            Yes, let’s clone this run of the mill Republican.

        2. Tulpa|2.9.11 @ 12:22AM|#
          “It’s a fair question….”
          That wasn’t a question, it was some guy with a man-crush on Flake and not enough sense to shut up about it.

      3. I second that. Ryan and Flake dip their politician index fingers up in the air, and they find that the public wants cuts in government spending, so they are telling you that they want cuts in government spending. Then they put their fingers up once more and finds the public more ambivalent about privacy and foreign policy matters so they see no reason to change their Bush era stances. Fuck those clowns.

        1. Jeff Flake has been against spending for years not just recently. No, the lesson to be learned here is that even the best of conservatives are not libertarians (no matter what the press says).

          1. flake has been consistently libertarian on most issues, and the patriot act is one where he has been consistently wavering – he voted for it in the beginning, against re-authorizing it, voted against the homeland security act, and now voted for it.

            I think you should give flake more credit than you do. He certainly takes positions that are not necessarily popular.

            1. that was supposed to be in reply to alan.

            2. Oh, so long as he’s been “consistently libertarian” on everything except the most important stuff, I guess that’s enough.

          2. Fair enough. He at least didn’t vote for TARP as did Ryan, so I would be slightly less reluctant to have him pressed into serving a life sentence inside a penal colony on the planet Mars.

            1. They are politicians after all. Guilty until a vast preponderance of evidence shows otherwise.

            2. John Thacker|10.12.09 @ 1:46PM|#


              Is that because he refused to grant the government additional wiretapping powers, or because he refused to vote to ban Internet gambling? Or because he voted against the farm bills? Or because he voted repeatedly to prohibit the DoJ from arresting and prosecuting people for medical marijuana in states that legalized it? Or because he always votes for free trade? Or because he voted against TARP both times?

              Thanks for the link Kirsten, but it only confirms that Rep. Flake is one of the most libertarian members of Congress.

              And that’s a start.

    2. Judge Napolitano tries to pimp Michele Bachmann as some kind of constitutionalist on his show Freedom Watch. It is truly disguesting.

      1. I’ve noticed that the Judge intentionally tries to find “common ground” with his guests, instead of challenging them on issues he disagrees with. You’re right, it can be disgusting, at times.

    3. I nominate Justin Amash as new “2nd best congressman”. He still has plenty of time to screw that up, but at least he did the right thing on this one.

  6. The Obama Administration and the Senate wanted a three year extension. The Republican House leadership was trying to move on an extension until only this December.

    As noted, they will bring it up for a vote again later.

    1. I could just kiss Don Young’s ear!

  7. So if all these democrats voted against reathorizing it, why the fuck didnt the democrats repeal the thing over the past two years when they had huge majorities?

    Democrats and civil liberties are like republicans and spending – they only critisize abuse when its the other team doing it.

    1. It is only bad when they don’t have 100% control.

    2. The democratic leadership likes it a lot more than Democrats.

    3. Repeal would never have made it through the Senate. Of course, the Dems could easily kill the extension if they had 41 votes against in the Senate.

      1. And yet the Senate Democrats are actually pushing for a longer extension (three years, what the Obama Administration wants) than the House Republicans (until December.)

        The Patriot Act extension is one of those things like the debt ceiling or TARP that “responsible” politicians have to be for, so usually the leadership lets lots of people vote against, but corrals the votes to pass it in the end.

  8. Here! Here!

  9. Republicans – REPUBLICANS – bring the terrorists their first legislative win. The world is upside down!

    1. Ahhh, the irony….

  10. Georgia Fuck Yeah!!!

    Paul Broun (Ga.)
    Tom Graves (Ga.)
    Jack Kingston (Ga.)
    Rob Woodall (Ga.)

    Remember that next time you cosmotarian commies call us SoCon “American Taliban”

    1. Seems like the Mises Institute is having a positive influence on its home state.

      1. LvMI is in Alabama.

        1. Auburn is just over our western border.
          Georgia did cast the largest vote total for an LP candidate in any election (John Monds for Public Service Commissioner in a statewide race). More votes than the LP ever received nationwide in a Presidential election.

          1. If Gary Johnson doesn’t run for LP Pres in ’12, Mounds would be a great candidate.

            1. I’d like to see Mary Ruwart get the nom.


    2. Also the home of that hero of freedom, Bob Barr (not to mention President Deregulation). The Falcons still suck, though.

      1. Fuck Bob Barr. The LP should make a formal apology for nominating him. He was on Cavuto last night defending foreign aid to Egypt and Mubarak, and all the other interventionist policies the US has in the Middle East. During the interview they kept showing the banner “Former Libertaian Party Presidential Nominee”.

        1. Not just fuck Bob Barr, fuck him with a blender. Worthless scumbag.

        2. What was up with his Baby Doc love the other day?

          Was that ever explained?

          Or did it just get flushed down the oubliette?

        3. I got a lot of shit from my non-libertarian friends when BobFuckingBarr got nominated.

    3. Well done.

      Also, fuck Cantor.

  11. Where’s Jeff Flake?!

  12. Wow. You guys have totally ducked the actual story in the article and in the thread thus far: Democrats out-opposed the GOP extension by a tally of 122 to 26. Which one is the Libertarian default party again?

    1. Neither, you fucking retard. That’s why we’re called libertarians.

      1. That’s why we’re called [we call ourselves] libertarians.

    2. Democrats out-opposed the GOP extension by a tally of 122 to 26. Which one is the Libertarian default party again?

      You’re suggesting it’s the party that passed the extension when they had the majority?

  13. Pinko:

    Apparently neither one of them.

    If the Dems were then they would have done something about this thing when they had the majority.

  14. Really? Sorry, cause every time I stop in to read stuff here, there is some sort of circle jerk going on over Reagan’s corpse.

    1. You misinterpret the action. Most are just happy he’s dead.

      1. Especially Putin. Those former Soviet and Warsaw Pact serfs HAD their freedom.

      2. Meh, jerking off over corpses is so 1990s.

    2. Really? Sorry, cause every time I stop in to read stuff here, there is some sort of circle jerk going on over Reagan’s corpse.

      Being a pinko, you lie a lot too.

    3. a simple site search of “reagan” shows that in the top page of hits include:

      “revising ronald reagan”
      “screw you, ronald reagan”
      “the syndicalist side of ronald reagan”

    4. Then you need to stop in here more often and actually read.

  15. While it would be against my principles to somehow coerce you into not feeding the trolls, I strongly recommend against it.

  16. If this doesn’t get passed the terrorists, win.

  17. Both NH Reps voted Yea. Live Free or Die, huh?

    1. Both NH Reps voted Yea. Live Free or Die, huh?


      I blame the Union Leader.

    2. It’s all the fucking Massholes moving in and ruining everything.

  18. Good for the majority of Dems and the Tea Party GOP who voted nay, shame on the GOP for pushing it (teh Party of small government indeed).

  19. Rehberg voyes NAY; good work, Denny.

  20. Fuck you, Southerland, you jive ass motherfucker:

    Rep. Steve Southerland (R-Fla.), a freshman who voted yes, said the measure is “going to need some examination going forward, so all I did today is just, hey, instead of making a wrong decision, we’re just going to do a little more due diligence to make the very right decision to both protect our security as well as protect the civil liberties of the American people.”

    1. What an idiot. His “yes” vote was a vote against “a little more due diligence”.

  21. How many voted against the Patriot Act, back in the day?

    How many voted against at least these heinous bits of it today?

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