Bernie Sanders vs. Hillary Clinton on Fixing the Patriot Act (2006)
Back in the fall of 2001, current presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders were members of the Senate and the House of Representatives, respectively. As such, they had a decision to make — would they vote for or against the USA PATRIOT Act? Passed into law that year, the PATRIOT Act has been used to vastly expand the surveillance powers of the federal government, breaching a variety of constitutional limits. The 2001 distinction between the candidates is clear: as a Senator, Clinton voted to pass the PATRIOT Act; as a Representative, Sanders voted against passage.
Five years later, it was perfectly clear how much damage to Americans’ privacy and civil liberties had been done by the PATRIOT Act, and a chance came to fix the damage by repealing the PATRIOT Act. On March 7 2006, Bernie Sanders cast a vote against renewal of the PATRIOT Act. On March 2 2006, Hillary Clinton cast a vote for renewal of the PATRIOT Act.
The distinction is clear. Knowing what you’ve known all along about what the government can and has done to Americans with its PATRIOT Act powers, keep these votes in mind.