June 10, 2005Folks, this is really, really serious.
(Washington, DC) -- Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, in her new role as a member of the Judiciary Committee, today witnessed first hand the disrespectful conduct of the Republican majority at a Committee hearing today, requested by the Democratic minority, to hear testimony on civil rights and civil liberties abuses resulting from the USA Patriot Act.
“What happened today was not only an attempt to silence Democratic Members of Judiciary, it was a silencing of Democracy in America,” said Rep. Wasserman Schultz. “As a new member of the Judiciary Committee, I was appalled by the treatment we received today and the disrespect that Minority Chairman Conyers was shown. Minority Chairman Conyers has dedicated over forty years of his life to this country as a member of the House of Representatives --he and the Americans who are deeply concerned about the Patriot Act deserve better.”
The majority acted shamefully today, attempting to silence Democrats at the Judiciary Committee hearing this morning on the impact of the Patriot Act. Throughout the hearing, run by Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, witnesses and members were cut-off in mid sentence, the Chairman refused to yield to Democratic members points of order, or points of personal privilege. Finally, the hearing was adjourned by the Chairman, in violation of the Rules of the House and cutting off the microphones of Democratic members while they attempted to speak.
Sixteen provisions of the USA Patriot Act automatically sunset (expire) at the end of the year unless reauthorized by Congress. As such, the Judiciary Committee is holding hearings on the reauthorization of the USA Patriot Act.
The hearing this morning was the first time in roughly ten years that the minority on the Judiciary Committee has been forced to invoke its right to continue hearings in order to have its own witnesses.
This is about the Patriot Act and the fact that they are trying to make it permanent, and are illegally denying the minority voice a chance to speak. This involves people being detained without recourse to lawyers. This involves 'law enforcement' (whatever the hell that means) having access to all your records - without your knowledge, much less your consent.
This is fascism, and it's happening now.
Go here to read the rest and watch the video.
BTW - 'Real I.D.'? Sensenbrenner's idea - shoved into an Iraq military appropriations bill.