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Progressive Caucus Members Who Voted to Reauthorize Patriot Act on 2/25/10

Somebody gave out marching orders yesterday for Democrats in Congress to fall in line and vote to reauthorize the surveillance authorities of the Patriot Act for yet another year. Although a some Democrats resisted, a shocking number of representatives simply did as they were told, ignoring their own party platform’s promise to undo the abuses of the Patriot Act. This was a sneak-vote, held without any notice before the day of the vote and given the misleading heading of “Medicare reform.” That’s how the Congress acts when it is ashamed of its vote… and it should be ashamed. Patriot Act authorities were reauthorized yesterday without any reforms whatsoever. Not any reform. Not a single word of change. Not one.

You’d expect certain groups of Democrats, such as the openly conservative Blue Dogs, to vote in support of the Patriot Act, and that’s pretty much what they did. But what about members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus? The Progressive Caucus has come out in formal opposition to regimes of unfettered surveillance like the Patriot Act. In its “Progressive Promise,” the Progressive Caucus pledges “to sunset expiring provisions of the Patriot Act and bring remaining provisions into line with the U. S. Constitution” and “to protect the personal privacy of all Americans from unbridled police powers and unchecked government intrusion.”

Well, guess what: the following members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus went ahead yesterday and voted to reauthorize provisions of the Patriot Act anyway:

Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus Who Voted to Reauthorize the Patriot Act Without Reform:

Marcy Kaptur of Ohio
Bennie Thompson of Mississippi
Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas
Alan Grayson of Florida
Corrine Brown of Florida
Charles Rangel of New York
Louise Slaughter of New York
Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick of Michigan
John Hall of New York
Luis Gutierrez of Illinois
Robert Brady of Pennsylvania
Bobby Rush of Illinois
Lucille Roybal-Allard of California
Eric Massa of New York
Chakka Fattah of Pennsylvania
Danny Davis of Illinois
Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas
John Conyers of Michigan
William Lacy Clay of Missouri
Jesse Jackson, Jr of Illinois
Andre Carson of Indiana
Diane Watson of California
Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut
James Moran of Virginia

CPC member Pete Stark did not take part in the vote yesterday. All other members of the caucus voted against the Patriot Act.

The members of the Progressive Caucus who voted to reauthorize the Patriot Act without reform yesterday are not randomly distributed. Among members, they tend to have a less liberal voting record than members of the Progressive Caucus overall.

Supporting politicians who call themselves “progressive” but don’t follow through on their promises? Events have shown us yet again the folly of that strategy. Watching what politicians on Capitol Hill say isn’t enough. We have to watch what they do, and hold them to account for it.

5 comments to Progressive Caucus Members Who Voted to Reauthorize Patriot Act on 2/25/10

  • Desert Dancer

    Alan Grayson? ALAN GRAYSON??!!

  • Loupgrru

    Luis Gutierrez of TEXAS? If that’s wrong…

    • Jim

      Sorry, that’s a typo. Clearly, he’s from Illinois, and I’ve fixed that typo. But as you can also see by following the link in the article to the roll call for yourself. Luis Gutierrez did vote for the Patriot Act reauthorization.

  • veganrampage

    I wrote to Alan Grayson, (to whom I contributed my pittance and many supporting emails) to ask him why he did this. I got no reply though I had received replies from staffers in the past.

    He was just on Bill Maher’s HBO show Real Time 4/23/10 and submitted this question for Overtime, which can be seen in on HBO’s website for free, but one must register. They picked my question, but softened it. One cannot usually see the Overtime episode for at least a week after the show first airs.

    Grayson basically said there was no opportunity to amend the PA, and he would be accused of being unpatriotic if he didn’t vote for it, though he had deep concerns about many of the aspects of the PA. I know the Repugnicants are going for his throat come November, but I have know idea why, or if it is true, that there was no way to amend the heinous PA.

    Submit Your Overtime Questions for Friday, April 23
    10:36 PM | Apr 23 2010
    For Rep. Alan Grayson,
    We love you BUT- why did you and so many ” progressive Democrats” vote for the continuation of the Patriot Act with absolutely no changes?

    That’s all folks.

    Thanks for this incredibe site! You have the stamina to sustain outrage; gotta love it!

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