Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Patriot Act Now and Then - What Changed?

Kobayashi Maru has a nice piece up that really calls attention to the now-and-then of the Patriot Act. Why did it pass so overwhelmingly the first time around, but falls victim to a filibuster now? What changed?

On October 24, 2001 at 11:05AM, the U.S. House conducted a roll call vote on HR 3162 (aka, the USA Patriot Act). The vote was 357 in favor to 66 opposed with 9 not voting.

The following day, October 25, 2001 at 1:54PM, the U.S. Senate conducted its roll call vote on the same bill. The vote was 98 in favor to 1 opposed with 1 not voting. ...

That much is fact. What is a matter of opinion is why, four years and a few months on, a minority of Senators (42 Democratic and 4 Republican), saw fit to let the USA Patriot Act expire without a floor vote by using their power to filibuster. What exactly has changed?

I think this is an excellent way to look at it, and excellent perspective. This raises a powerful question that Patriot Act vote switchers need to answer.

Read the whole thing, Kobayashi did a nice job on it.


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