What: All Issues : Human Rights & Civil Liberties : Government Surveillance of Citizens : (H.R. 514) Legislation extending expiring provisions of a terrorism surveillance program known as the “Patriot Act” -- On the resolution setting a time limit for debate and prohibiting amendments to the bill. Specifically, the bill extended provisions allowing the federal government to wiretap terrorism suspects, authorizing intelligence officials to conduct surveillance of individuals who are not known to be affiliated with terrorist groups (known as the “lone wolf” provision), and providing federal investigators—after receiving permission from a judge—with access to business records (such as library records). (2011 house Roll Call 29)
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(H.R. 514) Legislation extending expiring provisions of a terrorism surveillance program known as the “Patriot Act” -- On the resolution setting a time limit for debate and prohibiting amendments to the bill. Specifically, the bill extended provisions allowing the federal government to wiretap terrorism suspects, authorizing intelligence officials to conduct surveillance of individuals who are not known to be affiliated with terrorist groups (known as the “lone wolf” provision), and providing federal investigators—after receiving permission from a judge—with access to business records (such as library records).
house Roll Call 29     Feb 10, 2011
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Loss

This was a vote on a resolution setting a time limit for debate and prohibiting amendments to legislation extending expiring provisions of a terrorism surveillance program known as the Patriot Act. Those provisions—which were set to expire on February 28, 2011—included allowing the federal government to wiretap terrorism suspects, authorizing intelligence officials to conduct surveillance of individuals who are not known to be affiliated with terrorist groups (known as the “lone wolf” provision), and providing federal investigators—after receiving permission from a judge—with access to business records (such as library records).

Rep. David Dreier (R-CA) urged support for the resolution and the underlying bill: “The individuals and networks who seek to do harm to Americans change and adapt every single day.…The threat is much different today than it was 10 years ago, and that's why we need to recognize that they are constantly changing and adapting their tactics to try and undo the United States of America and the free world. Staying one step ahead requires a tremendous amount of flexibility, ingenuity, coordination, and of course the right law enforcement tools….This measure is designed to ensure our national security. Without national security, we won't have the potential to save and create jobs in this country.”

Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) urged opposition to the resolution and the underlying bill: “The Patriot Act has been used more than 150 times to secretly search individuals' homes, and 90 percent of those cases have had nothing to do with terrorism. The Patriot Act was used against Brandon Mayfield, a Muslim American, innocent of any crime, to tap his phones, seize his property, copy his computer files, spy on his children, take his DNA, all without his knowledge…part of what makes America special is the balance between our civil liberties and our rights as Americans and our national security. When so many Members of Congress, so many Americans on both sides of the aisle, of all ideologies, feel that we can do better, I think we owe it to the people of this country to do better and have a better process as a Congress, to improve the Patriot Act to help protect our liberties and keep us safe over the long term.”
 
The House agreed to this resolution by a vote of 248-176. Voting “yea” were 233 Republicans and 15 Democrats. 172 Democrats and 4 Republicans voted “nay.” As a result, the House proceeded to formal floor debate on legislation extending expiring provisions of a terrorism surveillance program known as the Patriot Act.

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