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50 Blogs for Feingold Action Team
“It's time to stand up - not to cheer, but to fight back.”
--Senator Russ Feingold, On Executive Power. (Daily Kos, 2006-02-02)

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Results from the USA-PATRIOT Act Cloture Vote

The Senate voted 69-30 yesterday to close debate on the amendments to the USA-PATRIOT Act, despite a number of statements on the floor that these amendments are not sufficient to guarantee the civil liberties of Americans.

As usual, Russ Feingold was leading the charge, and was mentioned several times during the debate.

A number of other Democrats are apparently laboring under the misconception that America is not watching them. That donors to and activists for the Democratic party aren't watching them. They are wrong. Dead wrong.

Here are the so-called Democrats that caved.
  • Biden (D-DE)
  • Clinton (D-NY)
  • Carper (D-DE)
  • Feinstein (D-CA)
  • Landrieu (D-LA)
  • Lincoln (D-AR)
  • Nelson (D-FL)
  • Nelson (D-NE)
  • Pryor (D-AR)
  • Rockefeller (D-WV)
  • Schumer (D-NY)
We should remind these folks of a little procedure that's been in place in the Senate for over two hundred years called a fillibuster. If they truly wanted to serve their country, and were physically unable to vote 'nay,' they could have had the decency to sit at home and not give the Repblicans the 60 votes they needed. Especially the first two, who for some reason have presidential ambitions.

Hillary, are you listening? Joe, how about you?

But, I digress.

Here's all Russ was asking for:
  • On Section 215: "the government should be required to convince a judge that the records they are seeking have some connection to a suspected terrorist or spy."
  • On Section 215 and National Security Letters: "The recipient of a Section 215 order is entitled to meaningful judicial review of the (permanent, secret) gag order."
  • On National Security Letters: "[T]he NSL provision should sunset in no more than four years so that Congress will have an opportunity to review the use of this power."
  • On "Sneak and Peek" searched: "The draft conference report requires the government to notify the target of a 'sneak and peek' search no earlier than 30 days after the search, rather than within seven days, as the Senate bill provides and as pre-Patriot Act judicial decisions required."
His assessment of all the Senate's hemming and hawing on the issue? Here's part of it:
Again, those quotes are from a letter that we sent late last year. Now, you might ask, in this newly announced deal on the Patriot Act, have any of these five problems been solved?

The answer is 'No.' Not a single one. Only one of these issues has been even partially addressed by this deal, but it has not been fixed.
Keep fighting Russ, we're rooting for you. And see if you can knock some sense into Hillary and Biden.