US

House Follows Senate's Lead and Approves Patriot Act Extension

"Failure to sign this legislation poses a significant risk to U.S. national security."

Following the Senate's lead, the U.S. House of Representatives has approved an extension on key Patriot Act provisions. According to CNN:

The U.S. House followed the Senate on Thursday in voting to extend three key provisions of the Patriot Act scheduled to expire at midnight, sending the measure to President Barack Obama to be signed into law.

By a 250-153 vote, the Republican-led House agreed to extend the expiring provisions of the law passed after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. They deal with roving wiretaps, the tracking of alleged "lone wolf" terrorists and the ability of law enforcement officials to obtain any records they deem relevant to an investigation after securing an order from a federal court...

The House vote was tighter, with lawmakers on the right and left opposing an extension for various reasons. For example, some members of Congress are concerned about the law's impact on civil liberties, while others support the law but think it should be made permanent.

ABC News has an interesting piece regarding how the president will "virtually" sign the bill into law (remember, he's overseas and can't be there to do it in person):

President Obama, currently on an overseas trip, is not at the White House to sign the bill, a requirement for the measure to become law.

So the president will use an autopen –- a machine that replicates Obama’s signature -– to sign the extension, according to White House spokesman Nick Shapiro.

"Failure to sign this legislation poses a significant risk to U.S. national security. As long as Congress approves the extension, the President will direct the use of the autopen to sign it," Shapiro said in a statement.

One last thing…
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