Who in Congress would consider changing the Patriot Act?

Recently we reported on Congressman Rush Holt’s response to the various NSA revelations, including the lesser-reported revelation that Obama and the Executive Branch have a secret interpretation of the USA Patriot Act and what it allows them to do (but shh, neither you nor Congress can know what that interpretation is).

Rush Holt’s response was this (our report):

Rep. Holt to introduce bill to repeal Patriot Act & 2008 FISA Act

In that post, I mentioned that I was a guest on “The Attitude with Arnie Arnesen” on New Hampshire radio to discuss this issue. In that interview, Arnie pointed out to me an earlier article that talked about the appetite for Patriot Act reform among members of Congress.

First, I’d like to present that interview. The clip below contains the whole second hour, but our discussion takes up only the first part. Listen to Arnie’s introduction, in which she mentions the article with a list of potential Congressional Patriot Act reformers, then to our conversation:

There’s a lot in the interview to notice — one being the way that repeal of the Patriot Act would moot Obama’s secret interpretation of the Patriot Act. Sounds like a win to me.

Next, here’s the article she talks about. Read on for the list of potential Congressional reformers.

List of Congress men and women who back change to the Patriot Act

The article Arnie mentioned is here. It’s from The Atlantic web site; note that the date is early July, two weeks prior to our interview, and two weeks prior to the events leading up to Rush Holt’s announcement. Please click to read the whole thing — the author does a good job of dividing up potential Congress members into those interested in (1) more transparency; (2) reform; and (3) repeal.

There’s much in the article, but also much that may be out of date. We’re now in the organizing phase of the upcoming Rush Holt bill. So I want to present the names of those in Congress who could be lobbied.

These are the names — they contain anyone who might be interested in reforming the Patriot Act. I’ll update and provide phone number after the Holt bill is introduced. For now, note that this is not dead; we have much to work with.

  • Rep. Amash
  • Rep. Broun
  • Rep. Chu
  • Rep. DelBene
  • Rep. [Jeff] Duncan
  • Rep. [John] Duncan
  • Rep. Enyart
  • Rep. Gabbard
  • Rep. Gibson
  • Rep. Gosar
  • Rep. Griffith
  • Rep. Grijalva
  • Rep. Holt
  • Rep. Huelskamp
  • Rep. Jackson Lee
  • Rep. Johnson
  • Rep. Jones
  • Rep. Kingston
  • Rep. Labrador
  • Rep. [Barbara] Lee
  • Rep. Lofgren
  • Rep. Massie
  • Rep. McClintock
  • Rep. McDermott
  • Rep. McGovern
  • Rep. Michaud
  • Rep. Mulvaney
  • Rep. Nadler
  • Rep. O’Rourke
  • Rep. Pearce
  • Rep. Pelosi
  • Rep. Polis
  • Rep. Radel
  • Rep. Roe
  • Rep. Rokita
  • Rep. Salmon
  • Rep. Sanford
  • Rep. Schiff
  • Rep. Schweikert
  • Rep. Sensenbrenner
  • Rep. Sinema
  • Rep. Speier
  • Rep. Waxman
  • Rep. Welch
  • Rep. Yoho

By my count, that’s 55 names, both Dems and Republicans. Here are the senators:

  • Sen. Baucus [really? yes]
  • Sen. Begich
  • Sen. Blumenthal
  • Sen. Franken
  • Sen. Heller
  • Sen. Leahy
  • Sen. Lee
  • Sen. Merkley
  • Sen. Murray
  • Sen. Paul [Rand; him]
  • Sen. Sanders
  • Sen. Schumer
  • Sen. Shaheen
  • Sen. Tester [yep]
  • Sen. Udall
  • Sen. Udall [yep; both of them]
  • Sen. Wyden

That’s 17 senators; a fine start. I’ll break this down (and provide phone numbers) soon.

Dear activists: This needs to be pushed. This is what activism is about, moving the ball. We have the ball; we have an opportunity to move it. ‘ Nuff said? We’ll be following this up as soon as Holt introduces his bill. Stay tuned.


To follow or send links: @Gaius_Publius

Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States.

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14 Responses to “Who in Congress would consider changing the Patriot Act?”

  1. Tim says:

    Pelosi and Schumer would never oppose the Patriot Act. They support the surveillance state.

  2. Future of america says:

    Republicans are so concern with our national debit but very few if any stood up when Bush went to war and said we can not pay for the the war? Raise taxes ( oh no) When will people stop being two faced. I we can not pay for a world armed forces than we can not have one. Time for us to get on a real !!

  3. Ty Morgan says:

    I don’t see my Congressman’s name on that list. Better give him a call!

  4. BeccaM says:

    Totally off-topic: Every time I see the name, Rush Holt, I have to refrain from making an arm-pumping gesture and exclaiming, “Steve Holt!”


  5. ComradeRutherford says:

    “because otherwise, this is just kabuki.”

    Which is why Leahy is on that list: he knows this will never actually GO anywhere.

  6. ComradeRutherford says:

    This is why I live in Vermont: All three of our Federal Representatives, Rep Welch, Senators Leahy and Sanders, are on that list.

    (Although Leahy has in the recent past been a sponsor of SOPA…)

  7. ArthurH says:

    Where are the Tea Party Republicans who want to get big government out of our lives? Why aren’t they seeking the repeal of the intrusive Patriot Act? Oh, that’s right! They only want big government out of regulating the corporations and billionaires who fund them and treat them the way Edgar Bergen treated Mortimer Snerd!

  8. perljammer says:

    I guess it’s a start, but “Interested in reforming” != “Will support repealing”. Then there’s the small matter of Dear Leader’s signature. And where in all of this is every Progressive’s darling, Elizabeth Warren?

  9. Ford Prefect says:

    So, in the House, we only need 163 more votes and we’re there! Need I remind that most of those 55 people have also voted in favor of things like indefinite detention and all this spying stuff as well? I’m sure a few of them are having genuine pangs of guilt for being douchebags previously, but that doesn’t count for much.

    In the Senate, most of those 17 are squishy at best. Leahy has supported everything he now says he finds troubling. Schumer is an outrageous hypocrite who wants the infamous racist Ray Kelly to be the new DHS and thusly loves racial profiling, illegal spying, stop & frisk, ad nauseum. How many of the other 83 will vote to defund the NSA? If I were a betting person, I’d wager “none of them.”

    Let me know when we get up to 61 in the Senate and 218 in the House, because otherwise, this is just kabuki.

  10. KingCranky says:

    So glad my Rep., O’Rourke, is on the list, happily voted for him and against the blue dog incumbent, Silvestre Reyes.

    Reyes seemed insulted that he had to lower himself and campaign for the job, rather than just getting another term with no effort required on his part.

  11. BeccaM says:

    A law with secret interpretations and secret implementation, and when we’ve learned even just the shadows of details about it, the breathtaking unconstitutionality of what they’ve been doing with the Patriot (sic) Act is obvious even to the layman, as well as to legal scholars. This is not what democracies do.

    It should be repealed and the basic philosophy of shadow governance and police state behavior disavowed forever.

  12. Ambignostic says:

    Jon Tester is no surprise on that list. He campaigned openly against PATRIOT in 2006, and has voted against renewal or expansion every time it has come up.

  13. Indigo says:

    A hopeful development.

  14. Drew2u says:

    No Sen. Warren or Sen. Baldwin? Disappointing.

    How many people on this list would be considered members of that Open Rebellion Caucus?

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