The Amash Amendment, Legislative History And The Surveillance State

In the aftermath of the defeat of the NSA funding restriction amendment to the Fiscal Year 2014 Department of Defense Appropriations bill offered by Rep. Amash, I did a little vote comparing:

PATRIOT Act expiring provision reauthorization vote, 2011:

Amash amendment to FY14 DoD Approps bill vote, 2013:

These Members voted against extending the expiring PATRIOT Act provision reauthorization bill in 2011 but also against the Amash amendment (a much less ambitious amendment/proposition) in 2013 (i.e., contradictory votes):

Wasserman Schultz
Thompson (CA)
Al Green
Jackson Lee
E.B. Johnson

Members no longer in the House who almost certainly would have voted for Amash include Baldwin, Hinchey, and Markey, among others. But the 13 who are still House members and who voted against the PATRIOT Act reauthorization in 2011 and against the Amash amendment today provided the margin of victory for the White House and the supporters of NSA’s current surveillance programs. By comparison, in 2011 only 27 Republicans voted against reauthorizing expiring PATRIOT Act provisions, while today 93 voted with Amash, a radical swing clearly fueled by Edward Snowden’s sensational revelations about PATRIOT Act and FISA Amendment Act abuses.

(Editorial note: I mistakenly included Hinojosa, Higgins, Quigley and Israel as having voted against PA reauth in 2011. I apologize for the error and the post has been corrected.)

(Addendum: Readers have brought to my attention that I overlooked Himes and Slaughter and so they have been added.)

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12 Responses to The Amash Amendment, Legislative History And The Surveillance State

  1. Marat Mustafin says:

    Hinojosa, Higgins, Israel and Quigley actually voted aye in 2011

  2. Confused Constituent says:

    Add Louise Slaughter to the list.
    In fact when Snowden surfaced she advertised that she was very concerned and had previously voted “no” to the Patriot Act 2x. Her office has no explanation for yesterday’s vote at this time. Not holding breath.

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  4. zack macdonald says:

    I agree the failure of the Amash amendment is another failure of the House, and of the Democratic leadership. But there is an inconsistency in your logic. You (implicitly) criticize Dems for making contradictory votes but attribute R’s who switched to an awakening of conscience. In fact, R’s made a switch that could have been a rational decision to limit but not end the Patriot Act. More likely, they chose to oppose a Dem president in a knee-jerk reaction, only in larger numbers. I don’t think Snowden awakened their moral selves.

    • pgeddington says:

      In my job, I interact regularly with staff from Republican offices, particularly Tea Party offices. You are underestimating the real impact Snowden’s revelations have had on the Republican side of the aisle. Sensenbrenner, the author of the PATRIOT Act, is the single greatest and most important example of that change.

  5. Pingback: The Bizarre Flip-Floppers: 13 Reps Who Voted To Stop Patriot Act Spying 2 Years Ago, But Voted To Continue It Yesterday | Techno Alchemy

  6. Philip Harris says:

    I think you should add Jim Himes (democrat CT) to your list. He voted no on PA extension and No on Amash.

  7. Pingback: The Battle for the Amash Amendment: Victory in Defeat | Jobs Not Wars

  8. Pingback: Lesson Learned [Again]: We Cannot Trust Progressive Democrats | PopularResistance.Org

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