News Release

Progressives Vote to Extend Patriot Act

The New Republic recently reported in: “Why the Hell Did Democrats Just Extend the Patriot Act?” that: “’There’s no other way to spin this,’ a progressive staffer on Capitol Hill [said]. ‘This was a major capitulation. The Progressive Caucus has touted itself as an organization that can wield power and leverage the votes of its 90 members. And they didn’t lift a finger. Democratic leadership rammed this down their throats.'”

SUE UDRY, sue at rightsanddissent.org, @rightsdissent
Executive director of Defending Rights & Dissent, Udry said today: “Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus capitulated to the surveillance state last week, by supporting a continuing resolution that included a three month extension of Patriot Act mass surveillance authorities, which they claim to oppose. As Ed Snowden revealed, the NSA and FBI were using Section 215 of the Patriot Act to obtain the records of virtually every phone call made in the U.S. It was due to expire in December. The CPC could have demanded serious reforms, or forced the law to sunset. Instead, they gave in. On the bright side, activists now have three months to hold every member of Congress’ feet to the fire to insure a repeal of Section 215.”

Norman Solomon, executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy, notes in his recent piece “When Progressives in Congress Let Us Down, We Should Push Back“: “Both co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Pramila Jayapal and Mark Pocan, voted yes. So did all 11 of the CPC’s vice chairs.

“’No’ votes came from all four members of The Squad — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib.

“The list of ‘yes’ votes from House members with progressive reputations was stunningly long. Here are just a dozen: Karen Bass, Raul Grijalva, Ro Khanna, Barbara Lee, Zoe Lofgren, Jim McGovern, Jerrold Nadler, Chellie Pingree, Jamie Raskin, Jan Schakowsky, Maxine Waters and Peter Welch.”