On February 14, after a series of initial votes, members of the Tea Party in Congress had one last chance to reject Big Government surveillance programs, searches and seizures without probable cause — practices forbidden by the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution they swore to uphold.
Tea Party members of Congress are identified here from membership in the Tea Party Caucus, endorsement by Tea Party Express or endorsement by “Tea Party HQ” FreedomWorks. How did Tea Party members of Congress actually vote on final passage of H.R. 514, reauthorizing provisions of the Patriot Act yet again?
|The 122 Tea Party Members of Congress who voted FOR final passage of H.R. 514, reauthorizing the Patriot Act without reform, 2-14-11:
Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL, District 4)
|The 17 Tea Party Members of Congress who voted AGAINST final passage of H.R. 514, reauthorizing the Patriot Act without reform, 2-14-11:
Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI, District 3)
(source: House of Representatives Roll Call #36)
86% of Tea Party members of Congress supported renewing the Patriot Act without any reform.
13% of Tea Party members of Congress opposed the Patriot Act.
And two Tea Party members of Congress — Dan Burton and John Culberson — didn’t bother to show up for the vote.
Overall, 87.5% of Republicans voted for the Patriot Act — a percentage roughly the same as for Tea Party members (all of whom are Republican), suggesting that the “Tea Party” in Congress doesn’t have an approach to the Patriot Act that’s distinct from the approach of the Republican Party.
If this a sign that the Tea Party in Congress supports the Constitution, I am Princess Margaret.
If someone tells you that the Tea Party has been responsible for opposition to the Patriot Act, send them this information.