95 People Learn to Love the Dragnet

Earlier this morning, the House passed HR 3361, which I call the USA Freedumber Act.

The bill passed by a large margin: 303 to 121.

That means that somewhere in the neighborhood of 86 people who voted for Amash-Conyers less than a year ago voted for a bill that in some ways expands what the government can do with phone records. For example, today’s bill endorsed the chaining of identifiers “connected” to a chain seed, rather than just chaining on actual phone calls. The FISA Court had endorsed this kind of chaining back in 2012, but it only recently became public, and the government is likely to be able to do far more of this connection-based chaining with the phone records in telecom custody. That surely includes the use of geolocation to make connections, something the government could not legally do under the current program.

In addition, those 95 people who voted against the dragnet last year today endorsed language that seems to permit — and immunize — the Internet dragnet, which has been found to be illegal. If the government chooses to use this new language (and I doubt they would have stuck it in the bill at the last minute if they didn’t intend to use it), then this bill represents a vast expansion of domestic spying off what those 86 people voted against last year.

To be fair, I doubt most of the people who flip-flopped on the dragnet understand this. Mike Rogers and Bob Goodlatte both made misleading comments during the debate, with Rogers outright lying. Even John Conyers and Jerry Nadler (and especially Sheila Jackson Lee) made comments about the bill that are only narrowly true.

That’s all another good reason to call this thing USA Freedumber.

From the roll call, here are the people who voted against the dragnet (by voting for Amash-Conyers) but voted for this bill today. Note, there are good faith reasons to do that, and I suspect a lot of these people were ill-informed about how bad the bill is now. But I do hope the people who learned to love the dragnet put some thought into what they just bought off on.

  1. Amdoei
  2. Bachus
  3. Rob Bishop
  4. Black
  5. Blackburn
  6. Braley
  7. Bridenstine
  8. Buchanan
  9. Capps
  10. André Carson
  11. Cassidy
  12. Chabot
  13. Chaffetz
  14. Chu
  15. Cicilline
  16. Clay
  17. Cleaver
  18. Clyburn
  19. Coffman
  20. Cohen
  21. Connolly
  22. Conyers
  23. Courtney
  24. Cramer
  25. Rodney Davis
  26. DeLauro
  27. DeSantis
  28. Deutch
  29. Dingell
  30. John Duncan Jr.
  31. Farenthold
  32. Fincher
  33. Fleischmann
  34. Fudge
  35. Garamendi
  36. Gowdy
  37. Gene Green
  38. Tim Griffin
  39. Hall
  40. Huffmann
  41. Huizenga
  42. Hultgren
  43. Jenkins
  44. Bill Johnson
  45. Kildee
  46. LaMalfa
  47. Lamborn
  48. John Larson
  49. Loebsack
  50. Lujan Grisham
  51. Luján
  52. Lynch
  53. Carol Maloney
  54. McDermott
  55. McHenry
  56. McMorris Rodgers
  57. Mica
  58. Michaud
  59. Moore
  60. Moran
  61. Mullin
  62. Nadler
  63. Napolitano
  64. Nugent
  65. Pascrell
  66. Pastor
  67. Pearce
  68. Perlmutter
  69. Petri
  70. Pocan
  71. Rahall
  72. Rangel
  73. Rice
  74. Ross
  75. Roybal-Allard
  76. Linda Sánchez
  77. Sarbanes
  78. Scalise
  79. Schiff
  80. Schrader
  81. Bobby Scott
  82. Sensenbrenner
  83. Sherman
  84. Jason Smith
  85. Chris Smith
  86. Southerland
  87. Stewart
  88. Glenn Thompson
  89. Tsongas
  90. Vela
  91. Waters
  92. Williams
  93. Joe Wilson
  94. Yoder
  95. Don Young
Marcy has been blogging full time since 2007. She’s known for her live-blogging of the Scooter Libby trial, her discovery of the number of times Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded, and generally for her weedy analysis of document dumps.

Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist writing about national security and civil liberties. She writes as emptywheel at her eponymous blog, publishes at outlets including the Guardian, Salon, and the Progressive, and appears frequently on television and radio. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation, and liveblogged the Scooter Libby trial.

Marcy has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she researched the “feuilleton,” a short conversational newspaper form that has proven important in times of heightened censorship. Before and after her time in academics, Marcy provided documentation consulting for corporations in the auto, tech, and energy industries. She lives with her spouse and dog in Grand Rapids, MI.

15 replies
  1. phred says:

    Do you happen to have a link for how each member voted? I want to make a note of each and everyone member of Congress that betrayed their oath of office today (that bit about protecting the CONSTITUTION). Funny how they so rarely manage to squeeze that into their busy fundraising schedules…

  2. phred says:

    I hope Sensenbrenner wakes up unemployed for this. And while we’re at it, Nadler is welcome to go find himself a new hobby, too. Bastards. Those two know better, maybe not the majority of Congresscritters, but those two sure as hell do.

    On a cheery note, nice to see our shiny new Rep. Clark in the No camp. That’s one vote on the side of the angels that our former Rep. Markey would not have cast — he was always a reliable pro-Obama voter, no matter what his constituents thought. I just wish he hadn’t been upgraded to senator. Sigh.

  3. P J Evans says:

    I see my former congresscritter voted against it, but my current one voted for it. I’m not surprised: the current one is far more conservative than he needs to be (and way too ready to believe what he’s told).

  4. orionATL says:

    “that’s it”, miss civilrights&liberties cried. “i’ve had all i’m going to take of your deceit and betrayals. i’m leaving”.

    “now, now, darling”, said mr. reps, “it’s not what you think. i love you, really, i do.”

    “you’re a lying, weak-willed cassanova,” she screamed, reaching for the door.”

    she wrenched it open, stormed thru, and violently slammed it shut as he shouted after her, “no, no, it’s not what you think.”

    but the sound of that door had not fully quieted before a smile began to grow about his lips.

    “man, those sweet, sincere types are really hard to shake,” he thought as he reached for his phone. “i want a woman that doesn’t wear her constitution everydamnedwhere.”

    • orionATL says:

      this being the written internet where tone of voice, facial looks, et al are missing, a part of my comment could be misunderstood.

      to clarify:

      “miss civilrights&liberties” refers to the collectivity of organizations originally supporting the sensennbrenner bill before the whitehouse began finetuning the bill just prior to the final vote.

      a trojan horse for helen.

  5. phred says:

    Thanks for the update with the list, EW. Right at this moment, I’m having a hard time mustering up any sympathy for Conyers and his ballot woes. I bet Amash had some choice words about Conyers on this… ah, to have been a fly on the wall…

  6. rogersrogers says:

    If they didn’t know what they were voting for, then they are disqualified based on stupidity or lethargy. Vote everyone out locally, and never support anyone listed here (or more generally in Yay column) nationally.

  7. anonymous says:

    emptywheel: Thanks again for your work. I would like to get Edward Snowden’s public, technical comment into the dialogue on any pending legislation. Maybe you can reach out to him through your network.

  8. jo6pac says:

    I was wondering how many might have changed their vote after a visit from nsa showing the congresscritters their file? You know mistress, bag of cash, and etc. Just a thought;)

  9. Bitter Angry Drunk says:

    So the only legislation Congress enacts now lines the pockets of donors and/or retroactively sanctions the government’s illegal and unconstitutional actions. If I actually believed there was a democracy that could still be salvaged from this great American clusterfuck I might be pretty pissed off today…

  10. Kat Capps says:

    Last time (Amash amendment), Obama had to send out the big guns to salvage the vote. 6 months later, when all involved should be even better informed, everybody crumbles. I’m not a hardboiled conspiracy theorist but still, remember Russell Tice? Seems suspicious.

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