House Rules quickly approves Patriot surveillance rule

The House Rules Committee met at 6:20 p.m. to quickly approve a rule for S. 990, which will extend Patriot Act surveillance authorities until June 1, 2015.

The rule allows for one hour of debate on the bill, and it was approved by voice vote in a meeting that lasted about five minutes. Members adjourned and were moving to the floor to consider the rule and the bill, which must be approved tonight if Congress is to avoid a lapse in Patriot Act authorities.

Earlier in the week, Rules approved a measure allowing the House to consider the extension on the House floor immediately after a rule was approved. The committee met Thursday night to approve a rule for the bill itself.

—This story was updated at 6:28 p.m.