In a development that surprised Republican congressional leaders, three provisions of the Patriot Act didn’t pass in a House vote last night. The reason was because several new Republicans affiliated with the Tea Party movement teamed up with liberal Democrats to oppose the provisions:
Nine freshmen and three inaugural members of the House Tea Party Caucus cast votes against a proposed extension of three Patriot Act provisions Tuesday night, helping block the measure from passage under fast-track rules. …
Those [Republicans] who voted no Tuesday night included Roscoe G. Bartlett (Md.), Paul Broun (Ga.) and Walter B. Jones (N.C.), all of whom were original members of the House Tea Party Caucus when it was founded last summer.
Allahpundit writes that, despite the media hyping the Tea Party angle on this issue, many prominent House Tea Parties actually ended up voting for it, including Rep. Michele Bachmann and Rep. Allen West.
He also notes that the provisions will likely pass once they’re reintroduced on the House floor under normal “slow track” rules, which allow for passage by a majority. The final vote was 277 in favor to 148 opposed, but House Republicans had introduced it under a fast-track rule that required a three-quarter approval to pass. So while the situation can be fixed, it’s definitely an embarrassment for the House GOP.