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IPFS News Link • Homeland Security

House clears way for Patriot Act extension

The US House of Representatives voted Thursday night to clear the road for an extension of controversial provisions in the USA PATRIOT Act. The final vote was 248 to 176, largely along party lines. Just 4 Republicans voted against the extension, while only 15 Democrats voted for it. Under the House bill, the act would be extended until Dec. 8. Democrats protested a Republican plan to hold the vote under the "closed rule," which prevented amendments. The last PATRIOT Act extension was passed in Feb. 2010. Thursday's House vote paved the way for a second ballot on the PATRIOT Act, allowing it to clear the chamber with a simple majority. An earlier vote failed when it did not obtain a two thirds majority. The Wednesday vote was 23 votes short of the two-thirds majority needed to pass it under a procedure that allows bills that aren't controversial to pass quickly.