December 14, 2005

Barbara Lee Opposes Extension of the PATRIOT Act, Blasts "Big Brother Attack"

(Washington, DC) – Calling it “another Big Brother attack,” Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) spoke out against the measure to reauthorize, expand and extend controversial elements of the USA PATRIOT Act during debate on the House floor today. Her statement follows:

“I rise in strong opposition to the Conference report for H.R. 3199, the reauthorization of this unpatriotic act.

“We should be repealing these undemocratic provisions, not expanding government’s reach into the private lives of the American people.

“Since 2001, the Patriot Act has been used more than 150 times to secretly search private homes. And nearly 90% of those cases had nothing to do with terrorism.

“Americans have rejected provisions included in this legislation, like sneak and peak searches, national security letters and roving ‘John Doe’ wire taps.

“Under this renewal we will see more of the same. Private residences, libraries, businesses, medical records – not even your DNA – are safe from the Patriot Act.

“I now understand why many have called this bill yet another ‘Big Brother’ attack.

“Requiring an ‘A’ on the 9/11 Commission recommendations, instead of ‘D’s and ‘F’s, is how we protect the American people from terrorist attacks, not taking away our civil liberties, which this unpatriotic bill does.

“Preserving medical privacy, the right to read, and Congressional oversight should not be partisan issues. Our constituents deserve better.

“I hope that we all vote no on this rule and vote no on this very UNPATRIOTIC Patriot Act.”