View Full Version : Justin Amash defeats bill that expands Patriot Act

07-11-2016, 05:22 PM
Justin was the most vocal opponent to H.R. 5606, the Anti-terrorism Information Sharing Is Strength Act, which was voted down today in the House. The bill was brought up under suspension of the rules, which requires a 2/3 majority to pass, and it failed 229-177. Bills brought up under suspension of the rules rarely fail.

Justin is Chairman of the House Liberty Caucus. Here is the caucus' statement on the bill prior to the vote:

House Liberty Caucus statement on H.R. 5606, Anti-terrorism Information Sharing Is Strength Act

July 11, 2016

The House Liberty Caucus urges opposition to H.R. 5606, Anti-terrorism Information Sharing Is Strength Act.

H.R. 5606 expands the USA PATRIOT Act. Representatives should oppose the bill for the following reasons:

The House needs to consider H.R. 5606 under regular order. The bill has not gone through committee. Instead, House leaders are rushing H.R. 5606 to the floor under suspension of the rules. Consequently, no amendments will be considered, debate will be limited, and most representatives will not have time to read and understand the bill. The Patriot Act should not be casually expanded; the sponsor of H.R. 5606 should explain precisely what the bill does and why the government needs such authority.

Contrary to the billís title, H.R. 5606 is not about anti-terrorism. The bill improperly extends an anti-terrorism statute, the Patriot Act, to the investigation of domestic, non-terrorism crimes. Section 314 of the Patriot Act encourages the government to share information on terrorism and money laundering with financial institutions. It also encourages such information sharing among financial institutions. Treasury regulations, however, have flipped Section 314 on its head; the department has applied the section to require financial institutions to share information with the government. If H.R. 5606 becomes law, this section of the Patriot Act will become substantially more powerful and susceptible to abuse, because the Treasury may require financial institutions to share information on countless private transactions that have no connection to terrorism.

H.R. 5606 violates our Fourth Amendment-secured right against unreasonable searches and seizures. Under the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, the government may not conduct unreasonable searches and seizures. With limited exception, a search or seizure is unreasonable if it occurs without probable cause and a warrant. Section 314 of the Patriot Act attempts to sidestep this constitutional protection by treating a domestic criminal investigation like a foreign terrorism investigation, and H.R. 5606 extends the applicability to a much wider range of criminal investigations. In short, if the regulations issued under the bill are consistent with current regulations, H.R. 5606 will permit the government to demand information on any American from any financial institution merely upon reasonable suspicion.

H.R. 5606 delegates significant authority to the Department of the Treasury to issue regulations that violate our rights. Our laws should come from Congress, not from a regulatory body. The Treasury has relied upon the vague drafting of Section 314 of the Patriot Act to issue far-reaching regulations. H.R. 5606, which rests upon this same section of law, multiplies the problem and threatens the constitutionally protected rights of all Americans.

Matt Weibel
Executive Director
House Liberty Caucus


Since the bill received majority but not 2/3 vote, the bill will likely be brought up again under a rule, which requires only a majority vote to pass.

07-11-2016, 05:49 PM
Roll call vote:

07-11-2016, 05:54 PM
Justin Amash doesn't support Trump. He is a Cruz supporter. That's enough for me to not really care.

07-11-2016, 06:39 PM