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The House is back in session this week, and they're kicking off their return with a vote on a bill that seems to be popular with members of Congress, in both parties, but hugely unpopular with just about everyone else -- renewing the USA PATRIOT Act. That's right, the Republicans' bill to extend a few controversial surveillance programs that are set to expire at the end of this month (see below for explanation) has been rushed to the floor calendar without a single committee hearing or a proper mark-up. As you can see on the schedule below, they are trying to pass it under the suspension of the rules procedure, which means that there will only be 40 minutes of debate allowed and no amendments can be offered.

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There's not a whole lot these days that the Republican House of Representatives and the Democratic Senate are eager to work on together. But there is at least one thing. On February 28th, three controversial provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act are scheduled to expire, and in the past couple of weeks Democrats and Republicans in both chambers have introduced several bills to reauthorize and extend them. In both chambers the committee chairmen who will be in charge of bringing the bills to the floor for votes have already signed on as supporters.

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Congress Links

September 16, 2009 - by Avelino Maestas

With the introduction of the Baucus bill yesterday, I wanted to wait a bit before getting Congress Links up. Space flight, the Patriot Act, and DoMA were in the news today:

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