Thursday, December 22, 2005

The Fat Lady Chooses Not to Sing

The Senate has passed a 6 month extension of the Patriot act:

Senate Votes to Extend Patriot Act for 6 Months

And, voted through the budget cuts, but stripped out the provision to drill in ANWR.

Senate Approves Cuts, but Not Drilling

On the first, Bush was forced to flip-flop on his stance on the renewal of the Patriot act. Originally, he said he would veto a short term extension of the act, and would only accept a 4 year renewal. But since the Patriot act would lapse on Dec. 31st, he would risk being deemed the obstructionist and making Americans "less safe" if he were to allow the act to lapse.

On the second, the Senate agreed to strip the last minute ANWR addition to the budget by Ted "if you aren't from Alaska, you can kiss my ass" Stevens.

Both bills must now be returned to the House to reconcile the bills that they passed. But, here is were things get tricky. Dennis Hastert, the house speaker, shut down the house completely in order to delay any calls for election of new Republican leadership. He has decided to close the House for two additional weeks to give Tom DeLay more time to clear his name and regain his leadership seat.

So, since Tome Delay is more important to the GOP than the American people, the Patriot act may lapse anyway. It will be interesting to see if the GOP will be able to keep their house in order long enough to recall the House and bass the two bills.

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