Friday, May 23, 2014

Which 49 Democrats Learned to Love the NSA Dragnet?

Yesterday, the House passed a gutted version of the USA Freedom Act by a vote of 303 to 121.
179 Republicans and 124 Democrats supported it. 51 Republicans and 70 Democrats opposed it.

The bill, once championed by reformers, has been watered down beyond recognition.

Trevor Timm of the Freedom of the Press Foundation wrote in the Guardian this morning:
It really is astonishing to look at how abruptly this legislation has been warped. All the major civil liberties organizations dropped their support for the USA Freedom Act as soon as the new version – re-written in secret at the last minute, with help from the NSA's lawyers and the Obama administration – was made public on Tuesday. The privacy groups' withdrawal was followed quickly by the major tech companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter. But that apparently doesn't matter to the White House or Congressional leadership, who barred amendments that could have potentially strengthened the bill from being offered on the floor ahead of Thursday's vote.
Just 17 days ago, in a compromise that moved the formerly strong legislation out of committee and into action, the bill was weakened significantly: in came more immunity for telecoms, and out went tough transparency and provisions for the Fisa court, along with protections against warrantless "backdoor" searches of your communications. But at least that deal was out in the open, and at least it didn't make things worse. Indeed, to many close watchers of national security, that version of the USA Freedom Act still looked marginally better than the status quo.
But with the most recent closed-door re-write of the bill, any chance for even traces of mediocre change have vanished. The New York Times' Charlie Savage highlighted the alterations between the already-weak USA Freedom Act and the obliterated new version, showing how critical definitions of what the NSA can search have been widened, and how all potential transparency now rests in the hands of the very person who Snowden's leaks caught lying, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. Marcy Wheeler, who's been warning about what she calls "Freedumb" for two weeks, breaks down even more stealth provisions in what she now calls "Freedumber" that may open up new ways for the NSA to search even more our data.
Marcy Wheeler has done an excellent job at analyzing how the bill, which has been gutted and how it actually makes things worse in some areas. 
The bill passed today extends the USA PATRIOT Act two and a half years, replacing the current sunset date of June 1, 2015, with December 31, 2017.

What was once a worthwhile reform bill has become an authorization of domestic spying in violation of the 4th amendment.

I decided to compare today's roll call with that from the Amash-Conyers amendment last year. Below, I bolded the name of any Democrat who voted NO last year but has since flipped in favor of the 4th amendment.

Here are the 70 Democrats who voted NO today:

Earl Blumenauer (OR-03)
Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01)
Bob Brady (PA-01)
Mike Capuano (MA-07)
Tony Cárdenas (CA-29)
Matt Cartwright (PA-17)
Katherine Clark (MA-05)
Yvette Clarke (NY-09)
Joe Crowley (NY-14)
Elijah Cummings (MD-07)
Danny Davis (IL-07)
Pete DeFazio (OR-04)
Diana DeGette (CO-01)
Suzan DelBene (WA-01)
Lloyd Doggett (TX-35)
Mike Doyle (PA-14)
Donna Edwards (MD-04)
Keith Ellison (MN-05)
Anna Eshoo (CA-18)
Sam Farr (CA-20)
Chaka Fattah (PA-02)
Bill Foster (IL-14)
Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02)
Alan Grayson (FL-09)
Raul Grijalva (AZ-03)
Janice Hahn (CA-44)
Colleen Hanabusa (HI-01)
Alcee Hastings (FL-20)
Ruben Hinojosa (TX-15)
Rush Holt (NJ-12)
Mike Honda (CA-17)
Steven Horsford (NV-04)
Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08)
Marcy Kaptur (OH-09)
William Keating (MA-09)
Barbara Lee (CA-13)
John Lewis (GA-05)
Zoe Lofgren (CA-19)
Alan Lowenthal (CA-47)
Dan Maffei (NY-24)
Doris Matsui (CA-06)
Betty McCollum (MN-04)
Jim McGovern (MA-02)
George Miller (CA-11)
Mike Michaud (ME-02)
Richard Neal (MA-01)
Gloria Negrette McLeod (CA-35)
Rick Nolan (MN-08)
Beto O’Rourke (TX-16)
Bill Owens (NY-21)
Frank Pallone (NJ-06)
Chellie Pingree (ME-01)
Jared Polis (CO-02)
Tim Ryan (OH-13)
Linda Sánchez (CA-38)
Jose Serrano (NY-15)
Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01)
Adam Smith (WA-09)
Jackie Speier (CA-14)
Eric Swalwell (CA-15)
Mark Takano (CA-41)
Bennie Thompson (MS-02)
John Tierney (MA-06)
Paul Tonko (NY-20)
Nydia Velázquez (NY-07)
Pete Visclosky (IN-01)
Tim Walz (MN-01)
Henry Waxman (CA-33)
Pete Welch (VT-AL)
John Yarmuth (KY-03)

Katherine Clark just became a member of Congress in December. Horsford, Negrette McLeod, and Pallone had not been in attendance for the vote last year.

Karen Bass (CA-37), who voted for Amash-Conyers, was not in attendance today. Mel Watt is no longer in Congress.

Dropping them, accordingly, here are the 49 House Democrats who learned to love the dragnet:

Bruce Braley (IA-01)
Lois Capps (CA-24)
Andre Carson (IN-07)
Judy Chu (CA-27)
David Cicilline (RI-01)
Lacy Clay (MO-01)
Emanuel Cleaver (MO-05)
James Clyburn (SC-06)
Steve Cohen (TN-09)
Gerald Connolly (VA-11)
John Conyers (MI-13)
Joe Courtney (CT-02)
Rosa DeLauro (CT-03)
Ted Deutch (FL-21)
John Dingell (MI-12)
Marcia Fudge (OH-11)
John Garamendi (CA-03)
Gene Green (TX-29)
Jared Huffman (CA-02)
Dan Kildee (MI-5)
John Larson (CT-01)
David Loebsack (IA-02)
Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-01)
Ben Luján (NM-03)
Stephen Lynch (MA-08)
Carolyn Maloney (NY-12)
Jim McDermott (WA-07)
Gwen Moore (WI-04)
Jim Moran (VA-08)
Jerry Nadler (NY-10)
Grace Napolitano (CA-32)
Bill Pascrell (NJ-09)
Ed Pastor (AZ-07)
Ed Perlmutter (CO-07)
Mark Pocan (WI-02)
Nick Rahall (WV-03)
Charlie Rangel (NY-13)
Cedric Richmond (LA-02)
Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40)
Bobby Rush (IL-01)
Loretta Sanchez (CA-46)
John Sarbanes (MD-03)
Adam Schiff (CA-28)
Kurt Schrader (OR-05)
Bobby Scott (VA-03)
Brad Sherman (CA-30)
Niki Tsongas (MA-03)
Filemon Vela (TX-34)
Maxine Waters (CA-43)

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