Virginia Delegation Splits; House Rejects “Patriot Act” Extension Bill [UPDATED]


    This is amusing.

    House Republicans suffered an embarrassing setback Tuesday when they fell seven votes short of extending provisions of the USA Patriot Act, a vote that served as the first small uprising of the party’s tea party bloc.

    The bill to reauthorize key parts of the counterterrorism surveillance law that expire at the end of the month required a supermajority to pass under special rules reserved for noncontroversial measures.

    But it fell short of the required two-thirds after 26 Republicans bucked their leadership, eight of them freshman lawmakers elected in November’s midterm elections. With most Democrats opposing the extension, the final tally was 277 members in favor of extension and 148 opposed.

    The Virginia delegation split along the usual partisan lines on this one – Republicans Cantor, Forbes, Goodlatte, Griffith, Hurt, Rigell, Wittman, and Wolf voting for the bill; Democrats Connolly, Moran, and Scott voting against it [UPDATE: Correction — Connolly voted “aye”]. What I find most interesting is that, although 26 Republicans – mostly Tea Partiers – voted against extending the Patriot Act due to concerns over federal government power, none of those votes came from the Virginia delegation. Does this mean that the Tea Party weaker in Virginia than in other states?  Other than this vote, for instance, I haven’t noticed any significant Tea Party revolt against 97%-with-Bush Republican George Allen’s U.S. Senate candidacy, or any major move towards Tea Partier Jamie Radtke’s candidacy. I also haven’t seen any significant Tea Party opposition to Bob McDonnell’s corporate welfare or multi-billion “borrow-and-spend” policies, beyond a a statement or two. I’m not sure exactly what this means, but it’s something to keep an eye on moving forward…

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