Amendment to Limit Suspicionless Patriot Act Searches

House Roll Call No. 95
112nd Congress, 1st Session

Failed: 196-231 (see complete tally)

On Friday, February 18, 2011, the House defeated, by a vote of 196-231, an amendment offered by Representatives Conyers (D-MI), Paul (R-TX), Nadler (D-NY) and Jones (R-NC) to the House Continuing Resolution for Fiscal Year 2011 (H.R. 1). The amendment would protect library and bookstore records from suspicionless government searches under Section 215 of the Patriot Act. Under Section 215, the government is authorized to obtain "any tangible thing" relevant to a terrorism investigation including library or bookstore records even if there is no reason to believe that the person whose records are sought has any connection to terrorism. The amendment would have required the government to use traditional tools such as a grand jury subpoena or a warrant to obtain this sensitive, personal information. The ACLU supported the Conyers-Paul-Nadler-Jones Amendment because it would have partially restored First and Fourth Amendment rights which were eroded by Section 215 of the Patriot Act.

Vote Map: House Roll Call No. 95
Votes For : 196
Votes Against : 231
Not Voting : 6