The passage of H.R. 514, a renewal of the Patriot Act’s most abusive spying powers for the federal government, was like a valentine for Big Brother, given how it came at about dinner time on February 14 this year. The extension was rather insulting to everyone else, though, given how it came on the heels of new information about how often the Patriot Act is being abused – at the cost of Americans’ privacy.
The Electronic Freedom Frontier searched through documents it forced the federal government to hand over through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, and found indications of tens of thousands of instances in which Patriot Act spying powers were used by the federal government in violation of the legal restrictions that are supposed to keep us safe from violations of our constitutional rights. Combine this new report with what we already knew – that the Patriot Act is almost always used in cases that have absolutely nothing to do with terrorism – and we see that the Patriot Act isn’t keeping Americans safe. It’s keeping us under surveillance.
We need a repeal of the Patriot Act, but the U.S. House of Representatives, led by John Boehner, just voted to allow the Patriot Act abuses to keep on going, without any attempt even to slow them down.
Given this astonishing display of disrespect to the Constitution, and its guarantee of protection from unreasonable search and seizure, it’s important for Americans in every congressional district to know just how their U.S. Representative voted on this measure. For that reason, we’re supplying the full roll call of yesterday’s shameful Valentine’s Day vote to renew the Patriot Act.
Look below, and if you see that your member of Congress voted for this bill, make a telephone call through the congressional switchboard, at (202) 224-3121, and leave a polite but assertive message expressing your disapproval.
(For all my teaparty friends who are asking must tell you sadly that yes Michelle Bachmann voted for it but she was not alone~)