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Update on anti-terror bill: House about to vote on a *new* bill



Here's what's happening right now (turn on CSPAN):

1. The House Judiciary committee approved the "PATRIOT Act" 36-0, with a 
two-year expiration date for wiretapping:
http://www.politechbot.com/p-02614.html

2. The Senate voted last night 96-1 for the USA Act without Sen. Feingold's 
privacy amendments:
http://www.politechbot.com/p-02651.html

3. The House Rules committee met early this morning to set a rule that 
specified what bill would go to the floor:
http://www.house.gov/rules/107rule2975.htm

4. According to the speaker's office, the bill is the "base Senate text" of 
the USA Act with five or six changes that Rep. Conyers had wanted. One of 
those is that the wiretap sections expire in December 2004 -- unless the 
president decides it is in the "national interest" to continue them, which 
would expire them in December 2006.

4. The House voted 211-205 midday today (along party lines) on a 
preliminary procedural step allowing the bill to be considered.

5. Now they're about to vote on the rule. The rule does not allow 
amendments, just provides for an up-or-down vote on the USA Act v2.0. CSPAN 
is carrying this debate.

5. When the House approves the USA Act v2.0 -- I say "when" because I think 
it's very likely -- it'll be sent back to the Senate for approval. Because 
the changes (besides the expiration date) are minor, the Senate may vote 
for it unchanged and send it to the president, something Rep. Senenbrenner 
predicts will happen.

6. That means no conference committee is necessary.

7. You can find the USA Act v2.0 here:
http://www.house.gov/rules/sensen_028.pdf (525 KB)
http://www.well.com/user/declan/sep11/usa.act.v2.0.101201.pdf (a mirror site)

-Declan 




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