9 February 2011 VOA News The U.S. House of Representatives has rejected a measure to extend three provisions of the controversial domestic surveillance law known as the USA Patriot Act.
Lawmakers voted 277 to 148 Tuesday evening in favor of the bill — just short of the two-thirds majority required for it to pass.
More than two dozen Republicans sided with a number of Democrats in voting against the measure, which would have reauthorized the provisions through December of this year.
The Patriot Act, enacted soon after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, extended the powers of law enforcement agencies to track terrorism suspects. The three provisions up for renewal
Earlier Tuesday, the Obama administration said it would not oppose a short-term extension of the expiring provisions, but urged lawmakers instead to authorize a three-year extension, as has been proposed by some Democrats in the Senate.
Senate Republicans want to make the provisions permanent.
The provisions are due to expire at the end of this month.
Some lawmakers and civil libertarians have criticized the surveillance measures, saying they infringe on Americans' right to privacy.