The House Rules Committee has announced an "emergency" meeting today at 3 p.m. in order to approve a rule for considering legislation that would extend three surveillance authorities under the Patriot Act that expire at the end of this month. The "emergency" designation is used by the committee when a meeting is called without providing for more advance notice.
The meeting is needed because the House on Tuesday failed to approve this extension under a suspension of House rules, which required a two-thirds vote. Approving a rule for considering the bill will allow for debate time on the bill and possibly some amendments, but most importantly will allow the measure to pass by a simple majority.
The bill is expected to be on the House floor on Thursday.
The bill is H.R. 514, which would let the government access business records, conduct roving wiretaps, and monitor individual terrorists until Dec. 8 of this year. The Senate is considering two bills that would extend these authorities for three years, and one bill that provides a permanent extension.
-- This story was updated at 3:31 p.m.