Quote of the Day: "It isn't the abuse of power that's the problem, it's the power to abuse." -- Michael Cloud
First, the bad news . . .
On Monday, the House renewed three controversial Patriot Act provisions (H.R. 514). Unlike last week's vote, this one required just a majority vote instead of two-thirds, and it passed easily. You can see the House vote here.
Now, some good news . . .
On Tuesday, the Senate also passed an extension, but it MOVED the expiration date back from December 8 to May 27, just three months from now. You can see how the Senate voted here.
And now, as of this writing, it looks like the House has submitted to the Senate's date! This means . . .
Your pressure had an impact!
Remember, we're always working with other groups on these fights, so you're not alone. This combined resistance . . .
* Helped defeat last week's two-thirds vote in the House . . .
* Which pushed the Patriot Act into the media spotlight . . .
* And emboldened the Patriot Act's Congressional critics
Without your pressure, these bad provisions of the Patriot Act would have been extended to December. But now, because you withdrew your consent, we'll be able to fight again in just three months! In the meantime, let's maintain the pressure.
You may borrow from or copy this letter . . .
The politicians who claim that the Patriot Act protects us provide no evidence. But there's a mountain of evidence that federal agents abuse the Patriot Act. Evidence of protection, NO, evidence of harm, YES.
That's why I want you to repeal the Patriot Act.
Failing that, let the three provisions that are currently up for renewal expire in May. In the meantime . . .
* Hold hearings on FBI abuses and civil liberties violations under the Patriot Act
* Investigate whether there is any evidence that the Patriot Act is doing anything to protect us from terrorists.
In other words, Congress needs to do its job. There's already enough evidence of abuse to justify repeal. The fact that Congress has ignored this evidence and rubber-stamped an extension, of ANY duration, is simply intolerable.
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