Republican congressman introduces bill to repeal the Patriot Act

 June 22, 2023

One of President George W. Bush's enduring legacies has been the Patriot Act, a piece of legislation passed shortly after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

While the law was initially criticized by some on the left, a growing number of Republicans are voicing opposition as well. This week saw one of them introduce a bill to end it. 

House member says Patriot Act was "misnamed"

Florida Rep. Greg Steube put out a statement on Wednesday in which he denounced the Patriot Act for being "misnamed."

"I introduced legislation today to REPEAL the misnamed Patriot Act and the 2008 FISA Amendments!" Steube declared in a tweet.

"For decades now, the misnamed Patriot Act and the 2008 FISA Amendments have allowed the federal government to trample on the rights of law-abiding American citizens," he continued.

Previous attempts at ending the Patriot Act have failed

"We can have a secure nation and retain our civil liberties at the same time," the two-term Florida lawmaker went on to insist.

Steube's press release characterized the Patriot Act as being " a hurried re-write of our nation's surveillance laws in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks."

It argued that the legislation led to "expanded government overreach" which resulted in federal law enforcement agencies having "seriously abused" the powers it provided.

Steub is not the first one to take aim at the Patriot Act as The Hill reported in 2020 that Kentucky Republican Rep. Thomas Massie and then Hawaii Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard made an unsuccessful repeal attempt.

"Long past time" to repeal legislation

"Protection of our civil liberties is essential," Gabbard said in a video at the time. "Join us in making sure that our constitutional rights are upheld."

Meanwhile, The Hill cited a statement from Massie in which he said, "Our Founding Fathers fought and died to stop the kind of warrantless spying and searches that the Patriot Act and the FISA Amendments Act authorize."

"It is long past time to repeal the Patriot Act and reassert the constitutional rights of all Americans," the Republican insisted.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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