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    This page contains bill sponsorships in the Senate and House. Bill sponsorships indicate the topics that legislators are most interested in, and spend the most time on.

14-S1123 on Apr 28, 2015

Bill Sponsorship: restricting domestic monitoring of phone calls
The Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ensuring Effective Discipline Over Monitoring Act of 2014 or the USA FREEDOM Act: Congressional Summary:
  • Requires the FBI, when seeking phone call records, to show both relevance and a reasonable suspicion that the specific selection term is associated with a foreign power engaged in international terrorism.
  • Requires a judge approving the release, on a daily basis, of call detail records; and to limit production of records to a period of 180 days.
  • Requires a declassification review of each decision issued by the FISA court; and make such decisions publicly available, subject to permissible redactions.

    Opposing argument: (ACLU, "Surveillance Reform After the USA Freedom Act", June 3, 2015): The USA Freedom Act that passed by a 67-32 margin is not as strong as we wanted. It is markedly weaker than the original version of the USA Freedom Act that the ACLU first supported in 2013. We supported a sunset of the provisions in an effort to advance more comprehensive reform, including rejecting surveillance through cybersecurity information-sharing legislation. Notwithstanding this, however, it is very clear that the USA Freedom Act is a historic step forward.

    Opposing argument: (Cato Institute , "Cato scholars differ on USA Freedom Act", Oct., 2015): The privacy community remained divided over the USA Freedom Act. The final version of the bill reauthorized several expiring Patriot Act provisions, but limited bulk collection. Some legislators argued that to pass new legislation would only provide the government convenient new legal justification for its spying--which it would interpret broadly. On the opposite side of the argument stood some pro-privacy groups who held that modest reforms were better than no reforms at all. Also see House version H.R.2048

      Participating counts on VoteMatch question 24. Scores: -2=Strongly oppose; -1=Oppose; 0=neutral; 1=Support; 2=Strongly support.
    • Topic: Homeland Security
    • Headline: Restrict domestic monitoring of phone calls (Score: 2)

    • Key for participation codes:
    • Sponsorships: p=sponsored; o=co-sponsored; s=signed
    • Memberships: c=chair; m=member; e=endorsed; f=profiled; s=scored
    • Resolutions: i=introduced; w=wrote; a=adopted
    • Cases: w=wrote; j=joined; d=dissented; c=concurred
    • Surveys: '+' supports; '-' opposes.

    Democrats participating in 14-S1123

    Richard Blumenthal s1sCT Democratic Sr SenatorJul 29, 2014
    Cory Booker s1sNJ Democratic ChallengerJul 31, 2014
    Barbara Boxer s1sCA Democratic Jr Senator (retiring 2016)Nov 20, 2014
    Sherrod Brown s1sOH Democratic Sr SenatorAug 1, 2014
    Richard Durbin s1sIL Democratic Sr SenatorJul 29, 2014
    Al Franken s1sMN Democrat/DFL Jr SenatorJul 29, 2014
    Martin Heinrich s1sNew Mexico Democrat (Senate run 2012)Jul 29, 2014
    Mazie Hirono s1sHawaii Democrat (Senate run 2012)Jul 29, 2014
    Amy Klobuchar s1sMN Democrat/DFL Sr SenatorJul 29, 2014
    Patrick Leahy s2pVT Democratic Sr SenatorJul 29, 2014
    Robert Menendez s1sNew Jersey DemocratAug 1, 2014
    Patty Murray s1sWA Democratic Sr SenatorNov 17, 2014
    Charles Schumer s1sNY Democratic Sr SenatorJul 29, 2014
    Tom Udall s1sNew Mexico Democrat (Senate 2008)Jul 29, 2014
    Sheldon Whitehouse s1sRI Democratic Jr Senator, previously attorney generalJul 29, 2014

    Republicans participating in 14-S1123

    Ted Cruz s1sPOTUS Republican 2016 Primary ChallengerJul 29, 2014
    Dean Heller s1sNevada Republican (Resigned 2011)Jul 29, 2014
    Mike Lee s1sUT Republican Jr SenatorJul 29, 2014

    Independents participating in 14-S1123

    Total recorded by OnTheIssues:

    Democrats: 15
    Republicans: 3
    Independents: 0

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