Wyden to filibuster Patriot Act

From an announcement by Senator Ron Wyden:

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) today announced his intention to vote against and support efforts to filibuster the conference report reauthorizing the USA Patriot Act, citing concerns about numerous provisions that could compromise Americans’ privacy rights that would be made permanent under the legislation. Specifically, Wyden announced his intention today to oppose the legislation because it does not include sunsets for controversial powers and diminishes congressional oversight over the government’s use of these powers.

“The current version of the report strikes the wrong balance between security and civil liberties and leaves Congress with inadequate oversight,” said Wyden. “Just as troubling is the inclusion of new language that will make it much more difficult for law-abiding Americans to defend themselves from possible Patriot Act abuses. These unjustified changes do not make the Patriot Act a more effective tool for fighting terrorism and in fact, make it more susceptible to abuse. I will vote against the current version of the legislation and support efforts to block its passage.”

He also decried the way that Republicans are playing politics with meth policy:

While Wyden is an original co-sponsor of the Combat Met Act that was attached to conference report, he expressed his disappointment that this legislation was attached to the controversial PATRIOT Act.

“As a cosponsor of the combat meth legislation, I am disappointed by the politicization of the meth tragedy in this fashion,” said Wyden. “I will continue to fight for the passage of the meth bill but not as a part of this badly flawed legislation.”

Read the rest. Discuss.

  • bluedog (unverified)

    I'm glad that the civil liberty robbing Patriot Act is going to be filibustered. I hope that it the filibuster is a success.

    But something troublin' me that is rarely talked about seriously by Democrats in power is the national debt. Obviously the GOP doesnt mention it much either-- we spend over 15% of all federal spending on INTEREST alone. As we continue to rack up huge deficits that number will continue to rise-- endangering a host of programs.

    Why don't we have those conversations? One of my theories is that the baby boomers in charge have an interest increasing programs that will soon benefit them (Medicare, Social Security, etc), while not wanting to pay for it (higher taxes). Instead the burden is put on our places like our schools-- on future generations.

  • LT (unverified)

    I also thank Ron Wyden.

    But about this: Why don't we have those conversations? One of my theories is that the baby boomers in charge have an interest increasing programs that will soon benefit them (Medicare, Social Security, etc), while not wanting to pay for it (higher taxes). Instead the burden is put on our places like our schools-- on future generations.

    I wonder if Bluedog is old enough to remember "Bluedog Democrats" who were a faction over the last 10+ years in Congress. Were they a faction for fiscal sanity, or a faction of "let's cut programs for the poor but not restrict tax cuts"? I don't remember, just that they were a group in Congress.

    When Clinton and the fiscal hawks of both parties cut the deficit in the 1990s, part of that were those from Ross Perot to the Concord Coalition talking openly about the deficit.

    But with Patriot Act, Iraq War, etc. I am not sure the deficit rises to the level it did in the 1990s--only so many things can be top priority at once.

    As I recall, there was a Republican effort awhile ago (few years?) to say every new spending item must be paid for by cuts somewhere else, but not new tax cuts (kinda like Karen & Co. in the state capitol).

    Seems to me that rather than blaming the minority party it is time to hold the majority party responsible for the mess they have made.

  • Tenskwatawa (unverified)

    'Cautiously optimistic,' and not impressed yet. That's sorta the fate of trust-breakers.

    But there was one idea for fodder if, in fact, 'they' do begin talking non-stop 24/7. Past examples included reading recipe books or the federal budget. This new idea is: read for the Record the newspapers starting at 9/11, anthrax, Afghanistan, Patriot Act, airport attachment, false threat build-up chanting 'terror has America held hostage.' Etc.

    And if 'they' are still talking, contrast and compare reading today's news.

    Hope to see you there, Ron. (In confRONtation, refusing the backroom-deal brinksmanship to sign-off on an embarrassment-saving 'plea bargain.' Remember, "several connected senators" stand in the Abramoff crime circle, say today's newses -- no conceding crime.)

  • Aaron (unverified)

    Yes thanks Sen Wyden, stepping up with Sen Finegold and others; on this critical topic.

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    not talk about the national debt? are you kidding? it's one of dean's major themes! many other dems bring it up as much as possible -- we went from huge surpluses to this incredible deficit quicker than it takes the blazers to give up a third quarter lead (ok when, they actually have a third quarter lead). my understanding is that the united states has almost always had a debt, but that at the levels we got dragged down to reagan & dubya, it's destructive. especially with so much of that doubt owed to china. oy.

    but to say the dems don't talk about it? pay attention, kiddo. plenty dems talking about the debt. but with the current national gummint as it is, ain't nothing they can do but talk. you want the conversation? get more dems elected to congers.

  • Becky (unverified)

    This is yet another reason why Senator Wyden is my favorite politician. I am so grateful for his backbone and his real connection to the people of this country.

    As for the national debt, I hear Democrats talk about it all the time. I'm just wondering when the people are going to do something about it - by throwing out those responsible and putting in people who will work to reverse the problem.

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    Thank you Senator Wyden.

    Loss of civil rights, military secret prisions, torture, fake news planted throughout the middle east, secret cabals,leaking CIA agent's names, fixing elections, and the beat goes on. Sounds like some South American country about to be overthrown...only it is this country. I hope 2006 is better than 2005..a desert island is sounding better and better. I'll be sure to take along War and Peace to read, along with my beer.

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    You've sided with the demagogues on so many issues, most notably in recent history your support of the bastards that were intent on repealing the "death tax" to "save the family farm". I don't expect you to understand basic search engine functions, but surely one of your able staff could Google some of these issues on the old Crackberry......... You're a politician first and foremost, but when you do something right, I salute you. (and for crying out loud, if you lack facts around specific issues, hire a dang intern to do some basic research)

    Unlike some of the above posters, you aren't even in the top ten on my list of principled Oregon politicians, but you did get it right this time as did every one of our Dem reps to the US house of representatives.

    I only hope that this comment gets onto the board before you play your next carefully considered "moderate" card, which will undoubtedly have me foaming at the mouth in frustrated silence.


    So, even though I suspect that you don't really understand our fear and loathing, thanks for joining Larry Craig, Bob Barr, Russ Feingold, Earl Blumenauer, Peter DeFazio, Darlene Hooley, David Wu, and other civil libertarians from the Left and Right, in attempting to protect our liberties. (I guess Walden didn't get the memo....)

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    Wyden's position on the estate tax has evolved after Katrina - he voted AGAINST the repeal when it came up for a vote. Novick did a good piece on it here, and here.

    Pat: when you do something right, I salute you

    Now, how about that salute?

  • bluedog (unverified)

    I have heard the national debt and massive deficit that the GOP has racked mentioned. Howevere, it is pretty low on everyone's priority list.

    This is an issue that the we can seize to peel away moderate GOP voters. We should be screaming about the fact that over 15% of all federal spending is for INTEREST-- dwarfing most federal program-- only military spending. medicare and social security were larger programs.

    As we continue to roll up huge deficits, the money we spend on interest will grow. This doesnt even consider that these deficits are being financed at record low interest rates. New debt has been financed at a rate under 5%-- think of what happens to those interest costs when rates go to 6%, 7% or 8%! As those interest costs go up, it means one of two things-- huge cuts in important programs or tax increases.

    More importantly than its value as a political tool is the fact that these baby boomer deficits are going to cost gen-xers and gen y. It seems to me that we should fight to make sure that those that come after us have it better.

    It is time to make some important choices:

    Raise social security retirement age (yup-- you boomers will scream-- so raise it for us. We are a little less selfish and are willing to sacrifice) Cuts in military spending Elimination/Cuts for the GOP/PHARMA Medicare Drug Plan Increase in capital gains taxes Elimination of Bush Tax Cuts on wealthy Tighten Eligibility/Reduce Spending on some social programs

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    Sketchy and grudging salute offered........

  • (Show?)

    Keep that backbone strong Senator Wyden!

  • Chuck Butcher (unverified)
    <h2>I don't know that I care to salute the Senate for finally paying some attention to the Constitution they've sworn to uphold, why are we "not renewing" rather than "never had" The Patriot Act. Oh well, so they're showing some nerve, congratulations. I suppose there's a political risk to taking a principled stand (now) so kudos. Man, I want to choke... It's the same Civil Liberties now that it was four years ago.</h2>
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