Posted by on February 09, 2011 in Blog
Tuesday evening, the House voted against extending key Patriot Act measures. Those measures were the authorization for the FBI to continue using roving wiretaps on targets of surveillance; the “libraries provision” authorizing the government use “any tangible item” in surveillance; and the “lone wolf” provision, the Intelligence Reform and Terrorist Prevention Act measure that permits surveillance of those who are not connected to an identified terrorist group. In the breakdown of the vote, surprisingly 26 Republicans and 122 Democrats voted against extending the above-mentioned measures.
Freshman Congressman and Arab-American, Justin Amash (R-MI) was one of the 26 Republicans who voted against the extension.
The Patriot Act, which originally passed not long after the September 11 attacks, significantly expanded the government’s surveillance powers and significantly encroached upon civil liberties. Many in the Arab American community were negatively impacted by these provisions, and this vote represents a significant defeat.