House Democrats have slipped an unqualified renewal of the draconian PATRIOT Act into an emergency funding bill – voting near-unanimously for sweeping surveillance carte blanche that was the basis for the notorious NSA program.
A three-month reauthorization of the notorious PATRIOT Act was shoehorned into a last-minute continuing resolution (CR) funding the US government, bundling measures needed to avert yet another government shutdown with a continuation of the wildly-intrusive surveillance powers passed after the 9/11 terror attacks. Democrats voted almost unanimously for it, granting the far-reaching surveillance capabilities to the very same president they’re trying to impeach.
A roll-call vote on the bill was split exactly along party lines, with all 230 Democrats standing up for unconstitutional mass surveillance – including progressives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota), who spoke out against it earlier. Two other Democrats opted not to vote, but not a single representative dared oppose party groupthink.
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Not only did Democrats unanimously stand for the bill, they backed the waiver of a rule that would have at least allowed members of Congress to read it.
230 members of Congress just voted to waive the rule that gives us 72 hours to read the Continuing Resolution.
Why is that significant? This CR contains a last minute unrelated provision to extend the #PatriotAct
Here’s the roll call for the rule change:https://t.co/etRQGRaZ9i
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) November 19, 2019
Aside from renewing the PATRIOT Act for another three months and keeping Washington’s lights on, the bill hikes military pay and tosses extra funding to the Commerce Department and state highways. Republicans had hoped to pass a “clean” funding bill without add-ons of any kind, so their opposition to the measure did not necessarily hinge on its inclusion of the surveillance provision. Still, the PATRIOT Act was born from a Republican administration and its rejection by the same party, 18 years later, suggests a dramatic shift in the US political landscape.
in Congress in Congress
Reauthorizing the Patriot Act
and mass government spying
— Fight for the Future (@fightfortheftr) November 19,