Paul Ryan on Homeland Security

Last Updated : Aug 17, 2012

Summary

Congressman Ryan is a supporter of the Homelad Security apparatus and laws to increase the abilities of that group to fight terrorism at home and abroad. In 2001 and 2002, Congressman Ryan was new to the Congress and voted in favor of the PATRIOT Act and the Homeland Security Act of 2002 which created the Department of Homeland Security.

In 2005, Congressman Ryan supported the Real ID Act. In discussing this act, Congressman Ryan stated that the 9/11 terrorists took advantage of holes in our system that allowed them to travel easily within our borders and that it makes sense to set basic standards for licenses or ID cards that could be accepted for boarding planes. 

That same year, Congressman Ryan supported the reauthorization of the PATRIOT Act. He asserted in a press statement that the continuation of certain provisions allowed for the country to track terrorists within the United States while protecting civil rights.

The following year, Congressman Ryan supported the SAFE Ports Act to provide additional security screening for nuclear and radiological weapons. This legislation was almost unanimously supported. He also supported the Electronic Surveillance Modernization Act. This legislation made changes to FISA and other laws. This includes changing FISAs definition of electronic surveillance to technology-neutral in terms of wire and radio communications. It also updated the definition of who is covered under FISA and provided the President with the authority to collect electronic surveillance to acquire foreign intelligence information without a court order for up to 90 days after an armed attack or a terrorist attack. When supporting this legislation, Congressman Ryan stated that the country needed the ability to listen in when someone is communicating with al Qaeda overseas and planning strikes against Americans while Congress must exercise careful oversight to protect the privacy of innocent citizens and make sure that this surveillance is directed against terrorists and those who assist them.

In 2007, Congressman Ryan voted in favor of the Protect America Act which provided for electronic surveillance of people reasonable believed to be outside of the United States. That provision was only in place for one year. As it expired, Congressman Ryan was very critical of Democratic attempts to pass FISA updates without renewing this power. He stated that the US was once again working on pre 9/11 tools.

One of the main poins of contention during this time was a retroactive immunity for tele-communications companies. Some of those companies had given information on their clients to the government without a warrant or court order. Some legislators sought immunity for these companies from their customers for those actions. Congressman Ryan was very supportive of those attempts and very critical of a 2008 attempt to update the FISA legislation without passing this immunity and very supportive of legislation that passed later in the year that contained that immunity. He asserted that these companies should be rewarded with praise and not lawsuits.

 

Real ID Act

In February of 2005 Congressman Ryan issued a press statement noting his support for the REAL ID Act. 

 

Support for PATRIOT Act Extension

In July of 2005, Congressman Ryan issued a press statement noting his support for a PATRIOT Act extension and noting key provisions within the legislation. In December of 2005, Congressman Ryan released another press statement noting the passage of that legislaiton through the Congress and several provisions of the bill.

 

 

Security and Accountability of Every Port

In May of 2006, Congressman Ryan issued a press statement noting his support for the Security and Accountability for Every Port Act.

 

Electronis Surveillance and Modernization Act

In September of 2006, Congressman Ryan issued a press statement noting his support for the Electronic Surveillance Modernization Act.

 

Opposition to Dempcratic FISA Bill

In March of 2008, Congressman Ryan issued a press statement noting his oppostion to Democratic actions in allowing the Protect America Act to expire and in the content of the FISA bill they were proposing. 

 

FISA Amendment Acts of 2008

In June of 2008, Congressman Ryan issued a press statement noting his support for the FISA Amendment Acts of 2008. He refers to the act as long overdue reforms.

 

Voting Record

Arrest and Detention of US Citizens

In December of 2011, the House voted on the Defense appropriations act for 2012 - HR 1540. Part of that legislation was a provision to express the authorization of the military to arrest and indefinitely detain US citizens. The only requirement for this was that the person be suspected of allying with al-Qaida. The legislation passed 283-136. Paul Ryan voted in favor of the legislation.

Paul Ryan voted in favor of the legislation.

Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2010

In October of 2010, the House voted on a funding bill for Homeland Security. Buried within that legislation was language to prevent any funds from being used to transfer detainees from Guantanamo Bay to the US or to their home nation. Also in that funding bill was a definition that made photos taken of prisoners at Guantanamo bay classified and unable to be released. The act passed the House 258-163. Paul Ryan voted in favor of the act which prevented the movement of prisoners from Gitmo and classified photos of detainees.

Paul Ryan voted in favor of the act which prevented the movement of prisoners from Gitmo and classified photos of detainees.

FISA Amendment Acts of 2008

In June of 2008, the House voted on the FISA Amendment Acts of 2008. The legislation passed the House with bipartisan support 293-129, but was never raised in the Senate. The legislation primarily contained provisions to allow for the monitoring of terrorists overseas that were a continuation of expired provisions in the Protect America Act. It also granted immunity to telecommunications companies against their customers for giving information to the government without a warrant. Paul Ryan voted in favor of the FISA Amendment Acts of 2008.

Paul Ryan voted in favor of the FISA Amendment Acts of 2008.

Protect America Act of 2007

The Protect America Act of 2007 was a bill that sought to allow electronic surveillance of people reasonable believed to be outside of the United States. The bill lists the requirements for initiating surveillance and gives it a 1 year limitation. The bill passed in the House in a 227-183 vote. Paul Ryan voted in favor of the Protect America Act of 2007.

Paul Ryan voted in favor of the Protect America Act of 2007.

Military Commission Act of 2006

The Military Commissions Act passed in response to a supreme court ruling which stated that stated that military tribunals established by the Bush administrations did not align with the UCMJ. The Act defined unlawful enemy combatants and allowed for the military tribunals to be held. It passed the House 250-170. Paul Ryan voted in favor of the Military Commission Act of 2006.

Paul Ryan voted in favor of the Military Commission Act of 2006.

Electronic Surveillance Modernization Act

In September of 2006, Congress passed the Electronic Surveillance Modernization Act by a margin of 232-191. Specifically, the legislation made FISAs definition of electronic surveillance technology-neutral in terms of wire and radio communications, Updated the definition of who is covered under FISA, provided the President with the authority to collect electronic surveillance to acquire foreign intelligence information without a court order for up to 90 days after an armed attack or a terrorist attack, and strengthened congressional oversight of the surveillance program through notification and reporting requirements. Paul Ryan voted in favor of the Electronic Surveillance Modernization Act.

Paul Ryan voted in favor of the Electronic Surveillance Modernization Act.

USA PATRIOT Act Additional Reauthorizing Amendments Act of 2006

The USA PATRIOT Act Additional Reauthorizing Amendments Act of 2006 was a bill that sought to allow electronic surveillance of people reasonable believed to be outside of the United States. The bill lists the requirements for initiating surveillance and gives it a 1 year limitation. The bill passed in the House in a 227-183 vote. Paul Ryan voted in favor of reauthorizing the PATRIOT Act.

Paul Ryan voted in favor of reauthorizing the PATRIOT Act.

The Homeland Security Act of 2002

In July 2002, the House passed the Homeland Security Act of 2002. Among other things, the act created the Department of Homeland Security, and set forth the jurisdiction of that department. In the vote, almost all Republicans supported the legislation and a moderate percentage of Democrats supported it. Paul Ryan voted in favor of the Homeland Security Act of 2002.

Paul Ryan voted in favor of the Homeland Security Act of 2002.

The Patriot Act

In October of 2001, Congress passed the USA PATRIOT Act. Although the act passed the senate with moderate support from Democrats, it has become one of the more divisive pieces of legislation. This is partly due to the expansion of governmental wiretapping privileges. Paul Ryan voted in favor of the PATRIOT Act.

Paul Ryan voted in favor of the PATRIOT Act.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

Session-111; Bill Number-H R 2875; Detainee Photographic Records Protection Act of 2009 - Cosponsor

To provide that certain photographic records relating to the treatment of any individual engaged, captured, or detained after September 11, 2001, by the Armed Forces of the United States in operations outside the United States shall not be subject to disclosure under section 552 of title 5, United States Code (commonly referred to as the Freedom of Information Act).

Session-110; Bill Number-H R 1399; Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 - Cosponsor

To provide for the implementation of the recommendations of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States.

Session-110; Bill Number-H R 3138; Resolution Redefining Electronic Surveillance - Cosponsor

Amends the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA) to redefine "electronic surveillance" as: (1) the installation or use of an electronic, mechanical, or other surveillance device for acquiring information by intentionally directing surveillance at a particular person believed to be in the United States when that person has a reasonable expectation of privacy and a warrant would be required for law enforcement purposes; or (2) the intentional acquisition of the contents of any communication when that person has a reasonable expectation of privacy and a warrant would be required for law enforcement purposes, if both the sender and all intended recipients are believed to be in the United States.

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