House and Senate Extend Patriot Act

In a complex legislative maneuver, both the House and the Senate passed a measure to extend the Patriot Act which was due to expire May 27, 2011.

S. 990 was appended to H.R. 366 and S. 1082 which were originally extensions of the Small Business Act. The original bill had passed in the House on January 20, 2011, which extended the program to provide government loans and tax credits to small businesses from May 31, 2011 to June 1, 2015, and was referred to the Senate for ratification.

The Senate then added an amendment to S. 1082 to extend the Patriot Act and the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act from their sunset dates of May 27, 2011 to June 1, 2015 and renamed it S. 990.

The Senate passed the amended bill by a vote of 72-23 with Republicans Heller (NV), Lee (UT), Murkowski (AK), and Paul (KY) joining the minority Democrats in opposition. The House then concurred on the amendment by a vote of 250-153, with 31 Republicans voting against it, and 54 Democrats voting for it.

The final bill now proceeds to the President for his signature.

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