House Votes To Curb Patriot Act
The House handed President Bush the first defeat in his effort to preserve the broad powers of the USA Patriot Act, voting yesterday to curtail the FBI's ability to seize library and bookstore records for terrorism investigations.Exit Strategy on Social Security Is Sought
Bush has threatened to veto any measure that weakens those powers. The surprise 238 to 187 rebuke to the White House was produced when a handful of conservative Republicans, worried about government intrusion, joined with Democrats who are concerned about personal privacy.
With the Senate Finance Committee at an impasse on Social Security and House leaders anxious about moving forward, Republican congressional leaders have told the White House in recent days that it is time to look for an escape route.
Senate GOP leaders, in discussions with White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove and political officials, have made it clear they are stuck in a deep rut and suggested it is time for an exit strategy, according to a senior Senate Republican official and Finance Committee aides.