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Because pro wrestling does not deny that the outcomes are predetermined....

Today, the House of Representatives will vote on the misnamed USA FREEDOM Act. The bill will be considered under a "closed rule," meaning that Representatives are not allowed to offer amendments.  The closed rule was designed to stop passage of pro-liberty amendments that would have "blown up" the deal reached between House leadership, the Judiciary Committee, and the Intelligence Committee to ensure that the USA FREEDOM Act contained only cosmetic reforms to the surveillance state.

The House leadership may have even tried to stop Representatives from even submitting amendments to the Rules Committee. Initially members were told that the USA FREEDOM Act would be brought to the floor under "suspension of the rules," meaning there would be no opportunity to offer an amendment. Bills brought up under suspension require a two-thirds majority to pass, and are only debated for 40 minutes.  It seemed odd to many observers (including myself) that the House leadership would bring up such a controversial and important bill under suspension, especially since, while the USA FREEDOM Act does have majority support in the House, it is doubtful that it could pass with two-thirds majority.

While yesterday afternoon the Rules Committee (which is informally known on Capitol Hill as the Speaker's committee since it traditionally carries out the Speaker's biding regarding what legislation will be considered on the floor and what amendments will be offered) announced they would be meeting to condenser a rule on the USA FREEDOM Act. Usually Rules announces their hearings several days in advance, in order to give members time to prepare amendments and get ready to testify at the Rules Committee's hearing. But  in this case, the Rules Committee only gave members four hours notice of the hearing on the rule for the USA FREEDOM Act. So only those members, like Representative Thomas Massie, who had introduced legislation that could easily be turned into amendments, where able to summit anything to the Rules.

So why didn't more Republicans vote against the rule? Because leadership combined the rules for the USA FREEDOM Act with the rule for the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (HR 36). HR 36 is backed by many pro-life and social conservatives. Combining the rule for the two bills thus meant that voting against the rule for USA FREEDOM Act meant also voting to block what many where saying would be the most significant bill dealing with abortion that Congress would consider this year.

Fortunately, surveillance state opponents are not going to be able to manipulate the procedures to ram an extension of the sunsetting PATRIOT Act provisions into law. Campaign for Liberty is working to turn up the heat on the Senate to get them to roll-back the surveillance state. Please support our efforts by contributing to our Stop the Surveillance State Money Bomb.





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