February 9, 2011 by USA Post
Patriot Act, (CP) – The House on Wednesday rejected a Republican effort directed at the United Nations force and to give back 179 million extra, below the face of arguments that an Obama administration much of the money had already been appointed to strengthen security around an international headquarters sensitive to terrorist attacks.
The vote was 259 to 169, below two-thirds needed for the bill to pass. It was the third straight embarrassment for the new House Republican leaders, who have lost votes on extending the Patriot Act Tuesday night and was forced to withdraw a bill or trade defeated.
Determined to cut spending, Republicans have pushed legislation that would retrieve and 179 million from the United Nations Fund Tax Equalization, which was created to pay U.S. employees of the UN that must pay taxes when their foreign counterparts are not. The measure also would have required the U.S. to withhold an equivalent amount of contributions to the UN to come if the money were not repaid.
The State Department said that money simply couldn’t be returned as $ 100 million had been set aside to service the NYPD to increase security around the building.
“This train is already rolling on the tracks in ensuring safety on the United Nations,” Esther Brimmer, deputy secretary of state for international organization affairs, said in an interview.
One Republican argued that this was not a budget issue, but rather a matter of national security in New York, a target in the deadly September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks that toppled the twin towers of the World Trade Center. Rep. Peter King of New York, the chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, said the problem affected the safety of New Yorkers and thousands of tourists who visit the historic building.
“The fact is that this impending disaster,” said King, who broke with his Republican colleagues to oppose the bill. So did another Republican from New York, freshman Rep. Michael Grimm.
(CNN) – Democratic House leaders got a chance to rejoice after Republicans failed Tuesday to pass legislation extending key provisions of the Patriot Act that expire at the end of the month.
“I think our Republican colleagues are grappling with the burden of leadership and clearly they have not found their balance in the future,” said Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland.
Republicans seemed to be caught off guard Tuesday night when they came up seven votes to pass a bill to keep three current measures used by law enforcement and intelligence to expire at the end of February.
The bill, examined under a House rule requiring two-thirds majority for passage, would have extended these provisions through December 8, 2011. Twenty-six Republicans opposed the bill, including eight freshmen. Some Republicans like Ron Paul of Texas has already opposed extensions Patriot Act because of concerns about civil liberties.
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