Senate Democrats have decided to use a small-business extension bill as a vehicle for approving an extension of expiring Patriot Act authorities.
The Senate on Wednesday will debate the House version of S. 990, which would extend two small-business programs until the end of the current fiscal year.
The Senate had passed a version extending the programs until May 31, 2012, but appears willing to take up the House version.
According to a Wednesday morning Senate whip notice, S. 990 will also be the legislative vehicle for the Patriot Act extension. A Tuesday filibuster from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) prevented the Senate from taking up the Patriot Act extension by itself.
Instead, the Senate will take up several amendments to S. 990 from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Wednesday. The key amendment would add to S. 990 the Patriot Act extension language, allowing U.S. intelligence officials to conduct roving wiretaps, access business records, and conduct “lone wolf” surveillance until June 1, 2015.
Reid on Tuesday filed for cloture on the bill, which should allow the Senate to vote on the package on Thursday. Reid’s effort was aimed at avoiding Paul’s filibuster and amendments to the Patriot Act bill that he wanted to pursue.
Assuming the Senate can pass the bill Thursday, the House would have to quickly act on the same bill in order to avoid having the Patriot Act authorities expire on Friday.
But one possible hurdle to these plans is whether every senator can support the House version, which would only extend the small-business programs for four months. According to a Senate staffer, Senate Small Business Committee Chairwoman Mary Landrieu (D-La.) is pushing for at least a six-month extension or more, which could make it hard for the Senate to come to an agreement.
Source: The Hill
Editorial Response (Rant ;)
The Patriot Act is unconstitutional and tramples upon the rights and liberties of individual Americans. Our politicians take an oath promising to protect and uphold the constitution, and then go about their personal and party agenda’s of dismantling it piece by piece.
Both the democrats and the republicans are equally guilty of putting party politics ahead of the basic elements of freedom and liberty that made this country great in the first place and I have grown very tired of it.
Both parties need to be abolished!
At this point, I have little sympathy or patience for anyone who blindly supports either of these criminal groups. We don’t need political parties with their misguided agendas making laws and creating policy in this country.
What America needs today is a group of men and women in office, dedicated to upholding the constitution at all costs.
Sadly, very few who of our elected representatives fit that description…
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Category: Small Business