But only because Speaker Boehner, more confident than perhaps he should have been in the bill’s passage, brought it to the floor in a “fast track” maneuver that skips the amendment process and other procedures. Doing it that way requires a 2/3’s majority to pass in the House.
The bill got a majority, but not 2/3’s:
WASHINGTON (CNN) – A bill to extend three provisions of the Patriot Act and Intelligence Reform bill that are due to expire next month failed to win approval Tuesday from the U.S. House of Representatives.
The House voted 277-148 in favor of the bill, which fell short of the 284 votes needed to pass, because it was considered under a House rule that required a two-thirds majority.
In the vote, 26 Republicans joined 122 Democrats in opposing the bill that would have extended the provisions through December 8, 2011.
This will eventually pass. The bill will be re-introduced (Rep. Lamar Alexander is already promising to do so) and pass through the normal procedures requiring only a simple majority to pass, but it is a bit of a surprise. Once the Patriot Act and other post-9/11 national security provisions were almost always assured passage through Congress.
But these days things have changed.
By the way, I am seeing headlines suggesting that the “tea party” was responsible for this. Certainly some members of Bachmann’s Tea Party Caucus were in on this, including Rep. Paul Broun, Rep. Roscoe Bartlett and Rep. Walter Jones, but Bachmann herself voted for extending the legislation as did Rep. Allen West.