House to take up short-term extension of Patriot Act surveillance authority

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), would extend these practices until Dec. 8. The authority to conduct these surveillance activities expires at the end of the month, which explains the haste in the House 

House passage will set up a quandary for the Senate, which is considering three bills that would extend the Patriot Act authorities for three years or more.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) has a bill that would extend them for three years, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) would extend them for three years and add new oversight language, and ranking Judiciary member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has proposed a permanent extension.

A Senate aide said Friday that it is unclear what the Senate would do with the House bill, but said it is conceivable that Feinstein's bill might take the lead in the Senate, because it has support from the Obama administration.