Tammy Baldwin on Homeland Security

Last Updated : Nov 01, 2012

Summary

PATRIOT Act

In 2005, Congresswoman Baldwin stated that through the PATRIOT Act and other anti-terrorism measures, the US has become a country that permits secret surveillance, secret searches, denial of court review, monitoring of conversations between citizens and their attorneys, and searching of library and medical records of citizens and that this does not sound like America to me.

In further opposing the PATRIOT Act reauthorization, Congresswoman Baldwin stated that the USA PATRIOT Act was necessitated by the threat posed by Al Qaeda and other affiliated international terrorism organizations, but the reauthorization was an opportunity to restore checks and balances that in the aftermath of September 11 were wiped away. She added that the threat of terrorism must not be used to justify police and prosecutorial powers that undermine our fundamental Constitutional freedoms.

In 2009, Congresswoman Baldwin again opposed the reauthorization of the PATRIOT Act. She noted an amendment that she was attempting to pass to require the President to periodically review the level of classification of programs that make use of national security letters or the authorities under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to determine if such programs can be declassified, in whole or in part, without interfering with an ongoing investigation or otherwise threatening national security.

FISA Amendment Act

In 2008, Congresswoman Baldwin opposed the FISA Amendments Act. She stated that the legislation amended the fourth amendment by retroactively denying to Americans the protections of the fourth amendment and retroactively insulating Government from accountability for infringing upon one of the most basic rights of Americans. She noted that this infringement is not theoretical and there are more than 40 pending lawsuits alleging that our Government illegally and unconstitutionally violated the privacy rights of citizens by conducting a warrantless spying program. Finally, the congresswoman asserted that the bill established a permanent framework for the violation of the civil liberties of our citizens by permitting the Government to conduct mass, untargeted surveillance of communications coming into and out of the United States, without any individualized review, and without any finding of wrongdoing. And it permits only minimal court oversight.

 

USA PATRIOT Act Reauthorization

In July of 2005, Congresswoman Baldwin spoke on the House floor in opposition to reauthorizing the PATRIOT Act.

 

Constitution Over PATRIOT Act

In July of 2005, Congresswoman Baldwin issued a press statement noting her opposition to the legislation to reauthorize the PATRIOT Act.

 

FISA Amendment Act of 2007

In June of 2008, Congresswoman Baldwin spoke on the House floor in opposition to the FISA Amendments Act. She noted the dangers to the civil liberties of Americans represented by the legislation.

 

Opposing the FISA Amendments Act

In June of 2008, Congresswoman Baldwin issued a press statement noting her opposition to FISA Amendments Act and noting the immunity of telecommunications companies for aiding the government in violating civil rights.

 

PATRIOT Act

In November of 2009, Congresswoman Baldwin issued a press statement noting her support for an amendment to rein in abuses by the PATRIOT Act.

 

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. Tammy Baldwin voted against the legislation.

Tammy Baldwin voted against 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. Tammy Baldwin voted against the act which prevented the movement of prisoners from Gitmo and classified photos of detainees.

Tammy Baldwin voted against 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. Tammy Baldwin voted against the FISA Amendment Acts of 2008.

Tammy Baldwin voted against 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. Tammy Baldwin voted against the Protect America Act of 2007.

Tammy Baldwin voted against 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. Tammy Baldwin voted against the Military Commission Act of 2006.

Tammy Baldwin voted against 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. Tammy Baldwin voted against the Electronic Surveillance Modernization Act.

Tammy Baldwin voted against 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. Tammy Baldwin voted against reauthorizing the PATRIOT Act.

Tammy Baldwin voted against 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. Tammy Baldwin voted against the Homeland Security Act of 2002.

Tammy Baldwin voted against 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. Tammy Baldwin voted against the PATRIOT Act.

Tammy Baldwin voted against the PATRIOT Act.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

Session-110; Bill Number-H R 1246; Military Readiness Enhancement Act of 2007 - Cosponsor

To amend title 10, United States Code, to enhance the readiness of the Armed Forces by replacing the current policy concerning homosexuality in the Armed Forces, referred to as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", with a policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

Session-110; Bill Number-H R 1416; Habeas Corpus Restoration Act of 2007 - Cosponsor

To restore habeas corpus for those detained by the United States and to repeal the prohibition on treaty obligations establishing grounds for certain claims.

Session-110; Bill Number-H R 4114; American Anti-Torture Act of 2007 - Cosponsor

Amends the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 to prohibit any person in the custody or control of the United States (under current law, the Department of Defense) from being subject to any treatment or technique of interrogation not authorized by and listed in the U.S. Army Field Manual on Intelligence Interrogation.

Session-110; Bill Number-H R 1415; Restoring the Constitution Act of 2007 - Cosponsor

To provide for the effective prosecution of terrorists and guarantee due process rights.

Session-110; Bill Number-H R 1352; Torture Outsourcing Prevention Act - Cosponsor

To prohibit the return or other transfer of persons by the United States, for the purpose of detention, interrogation, trial, or otherwise, to countries where torture or other inhuman treatment of persons occurs, and for other purposes.

Session-110; Bill Number-H R 2826; Habeas Corpus for Detainees - Cosponsor

To amend titles 28 and 10, United States Code, to restore habeas corpus for individuals detained by the United States at Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and for other purposes.

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