December 21, 2005
Patriotic Delay
By Jim Babka
Today's Downsizer Dispatch... We got what we wanted! A combination of Democrat and Republican Senators stalled a vote on the renewal and extension of the Patriot Act in the Senate. Sadly, this is not the end of the fight. What the Senators want is another layer of government to serve as a watchdog over Executive Branch use of the powers granted by the Patriot Act. Assuming they get what they want, the question must be asked: Who will watch the watchdogs? The history of government power should make it very clear that such watchdog bodies quickly fall-in-line with the wishes of the President. The problem we need to correct is not the abuse of power, but the power to abuse. The Patriot Act must be allowed to die in those sixteen sections where it is scheduled to sunset. We know that most of you are now busy with holiday preparations, as are we, but it would be very nice to send one last blast to Congress as they prepare to go on recess. Let them know that we're not satisfied. We want permanent gridlock on those provisions of the Patriot Act that are set to expire December 31st. This is important, because Congress has a habit of rushing things to a vote just before they slip out of town. Action Item: Send another message to Congress telling them NOT to hold a vote on Patriot Act extension. To send your message, click here. News: We have raised most of the money we needed to improve the Read the Bills Act before submission, though we are still discussing whether to include our proposed provision about bureaucratic regulation in RTBA, or to create it as a _separate_ bill. We will have more to report on all of this soon. If you would like to make a donation click here. Blog: Jim Babka has an interesting post about the Doug Bandow scandal. Jim is taking the minority position on this one. Check it out. Thank you for being a DC Downsizer. Perry Willis Communications Director, Inc.
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