RECENT VOTES

H.R. 3773: Responsible Electronic Surveillance That is Overseen, Reviewed and Effective Act (RESTORE)

November 15, 2007

On Thursday November 15, 2007 the House considered H.R. 3773: Responsible Electronic Surveillance That is Overseen, Reviewed and Effective Act (RESTORE). This legislation updates the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). You may recall that Congress passed a FISA update bill in August, with a pledge to return to this issue before the end of the year.

I voted against the original PATRIOT Act and against the August legislation, entitled the "Protect America Act," because I value traditional American civil liberties and I believe that the bill severely infringed on individual liberties. H.R. 3773: the RESTORE Act, which the House considered yesterday, is a vast improvement over the so-called Protect America Act. It offers many additional protections that the Protect America Act failed to provide. Yet that is not the bar against which I believe we should judge bills of this importance. Instead, we must judge them against the Constitution and our goals for America.

Unfortunately, I still believe that the RESTORE Act raises serious Fourth Amendment concerns. As a matter of principle, I could not support it. Once we part with our cherished civil liberties - it is almost impossible to regain them. Terrorists and those who would do us harm revile the open and free society that Americans are so proud of. In fact, I believe it is our promise of civil liberty for all people that they most fear. I will not step back from the longstanding American value of protecting and expanding civil liberties for every American — now and in the future.

I voted NO. The entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
DEMOCRAT

222

5

0

5

REPUBLICAN

5

184

0

11

TOTAL

227

189

0

16

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

9

1

0

0

--

Contact: Alison M. Mills (617) 621-6208