Unconstitutional spying

CREDO action
Stop unconstitutional government spying

The petition to your member of Congress reads:
I urge you to co-sign Rep. Rush Holt's letter asking House leaders to allow a vote on repealing the PATRIOT Act and the FISA Amendments Act. These two clearly unconstitutional laws have allowed the NSA, FBI and CIA to run roughshod over our First and Fourth Amendment rights, and should be repealed."

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Dear 5849376,

Repeal the PATRIOT Act -- Click here to take action.

The best way to stop indiscriminate and unconstitutional government spying is to repeal the the PATRIOT Act and the FISA Amendments Act -- the two laws that that have allowed the NSA, FBI and CIA to run roughshod over our First and Fourth Amendment rights.

But when the U.S. House of Representatives votes in a few weeks on proposals to reform the NSA, repealing these laws might not even be on the table.

Congressman Rush Holt, one of our strongest congressional champions in this fight, has written a sign-on letter to House leaders asking them not to block him a vote on his amendments to would repeal these two clearly unconstitutional Bush-era laws.

Rep. Holt needs as many of his colleagues as possible to co-sign his letter which already has bi-partisan support. But your member of Congress, Tom Latham, hasn't signed on yet.

Click here to automatically sign the petition telling Rep. Latham to co-sign the Holt letter.

It's true that repealing the PATRIOT Act and the FISA Amendments Act will be an uphill fight even though there is bipartisan support for ending warrantless spying on Americans.

Last year, in the wake of the Snowden revelations, the House fell just 12 votes short of passing a bipartisan amendment that would have drastically scaled back the NSA's indiscriminate spying. And the additional details released since then revealing the scale of spying on Americans have only made the need for fundamental reform even more glaringly obvious.

If the House is going to debate the issue, we need to demand the choices on the table include something that will actually fix the problem. And even if we don't have the votes to pass an amendment repealing the PATRIOT Act and FISA Amendments Act we need to get our representatives in Washington DC on the record with an up-or-down vote.

Click here to automatically sign the petition telling Rep. Latham to co-sign the Holt letter.

Rep. Holt's letter is a little jargon-heavy, so here's the summary (you can read the entire sign-on letter on the second page of this PDF): First Rep. Holt notes the obvious problems with unconstitutional government spying. Then he requests that all intelligence community legislation for the remainder of the year be considered under what is known as an "open rule. " This just means that any member of Congress could offer a relevant amendment and would be entitled to a vote on that amendment.

It's not a crazy idea. House Speaker John Boehner has a long record of acknowledging the importance of an open rule. Last year, his Deputy Chief of Staff even glowingly blogged about the importance of open rules, noting, "One congressional expert calls open rules 'essential for fair consideration of legislation on the House floor.'" 1

Unsurprisingly, however, Speaker Boehner's actions have not always matched his rhetoric.

Still, there's no reason for Democrats, who are in the minority, to oppose an open rule. And if we get enough Republicans to co-sign the letter, we can force Speaker Boehner to allow amendments from Congressman Holt and others.

The first step is to get as many members of Congress as possible to co-sign Rep. Holt's letter. Click the link below to automatically sign the petition asking your member of Congress to do so:


Your activism matters.

Matt Lockshin, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

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1"House Continues to Keep 'Open Rules' Pledge Under Speaker Boehner," official blog of House Speaker John Boehner, June 5, 2013.

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