GOP freshmen help derail Patriot Act extension
Eight House Republican freshmen and three inaugural members of the Tea Party Caucus voted against a proposed extension of three Patriot Act provisions Tuesday night, blocking the measure from passage under fast-track rules.
The House clearly backed the measure, voting 277 to 148 to extend the provisions, and most Republicans stuck by their leadership and supported the extension. But enough defected, joined by most Democrats, to keep the measure seven votes shy of the two-thirds majority required for passage under the fast-track procedure.
Attention immediately swung to whether House members sympathetic to the tea party had decided the matter, especially after Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-Ohio) said Monday that the vote would be « the tea party’s first test. »
The Republicans who voted no Tuesday night included Roscoe G. Bartlett (Md.), Paul Broun (Ga.) and Walter B. Jones (N.C.), all of whom were original members of the House Tea Party Caucus when it was founded last summer.