Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


Jane Harman Saves The Patriot Act

We need to hear from you.
Today, put a dollar value on the trustworthy reporting you rely on all year long. The local news you read here every day is crafted for you, but right now, we need your help to keep it going. In these uncertain times, your support is even more important. We can't hold those in power accountable and uplift voices from the community without your partnership. Thank you.

It took just four Democratic defections to keep the Patriot Act as-is. The Patriot Act, which gives law enforcers the right to sneak, peek, and surveil with unprecedented authority, almost took a hit last week. Rep. Bernie Sanders (Socialist-VT) proposed an amendment to eliminate the government's new right to track what books people buy or check out at the library. Rep. Jane Harman of the South Bay sided against Sanders - and her vote proved to be decisive. She argues that the amendment was an inappropriate piecemeal reform, and that Congress should enact a more comprehensive re-work of the legislation in a forthcoming session.

Harman is the ranking minority member of the House Intelligence committee. She often brings a needed dose of sanity to Washington's efforts to prevent terrorism. An example? Her recent call for the U.S. to abandon the Homeland Security Dept.'s silly color-coded "threat system."

But you don't have to be a C-SPAN addict to know that Tom DeLay's Republican caucus gives Democrats very few opportunities to exert their will. This reform would not have precluded future attempts to revise the law, and it would have represented a victory for those who oppose the principle of the act.

Support for LAist comes from

If you'd like to voice your opinions on this matter, I'm sure Rep. Harman's staff would be happy to hear from you. Her El Segundo district office can be reached at 310-643-3636.

Most Read