The New York Times reports:
The Republican-led House bowed to a White House veto threat Thursday and stood by the USA Patriot Act, defeating an effort to block the part of the anti-terrorism law that helps the government investigate people’s reading habits.
The effort to defy Bush and bridle the law’s powers lost by 210-210, with a majority needed to prevail. The amendment appeared on its way to victory as the roll call’s normal 15-minute time limit expired, but GOP leaders kept the vote open for 23 more minutes as they persuaded about 10 Republicans who initially supported the provision to change their votes.”Shame, shame, shame,’’ Democrats chanted as the minutes passed and votes were switched. The tactic was reminiscent of last year’s House passage of the Medicare overhaul measure, when GOP leaders held the vote open for an extra three hours until they got the votes they needed.
“You win some, and some get stolen,’’ Rep. C.L. Butch Otter, R-Idaho, a sponsor of the defeated provision and one of Congress’ more conservative members, told a reporter.
Rep. Zach Wamp, R-Tenn., said he switched his initial “yes’’ vote to “no’’ after being shown Justice Department documents asserting that terrorists have communicated over the Internet via public library computers.
Why is it, that Republicans are quick to pass laws against the internet, because terrorists could conceivably use it to communicate, but would not dare pass laws against weapons that terrorists could conceivably use to kill people?
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