If you can’t get the two-thirds vote necessary to pass controversial legislation, do you a) scrap the bill and go back to the drawing board; b) provide time for debate and good-faith amendments to the bill; or c) lower the vote threshold so that the bill passes despite the doubts of your colleagues?
Well, House leadership chose c), and thus the House caved. I’m not sure if it’s a consolation that the House leadership had to change the rules of the game to make it happen. On Feb. 8, House leadership brought up a Patriot Act
extension on suspension
, and, thanks in large part to your activism, it failed to get the two-thirds vote necessary to pass
. So, today, after perfunctory debate and no opportunities for amendment (save the obligatory Motion to Recommit
afforded the minority party), House leadership brought up the extension for a simple majority vote. And thus, the Patriot extension through December 8, 2011 passed the House. You can see how your member of Congress voted here
. Be sure to tell your representative how you feel about his/her vote. (You can reach him/her through the Capitol Switchboard – (202) 224-3121.)
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