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NSA Surveillance Reform: “No” Votes in U.S. Senate

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On November 18, 2014, the U.S. Senate failed to act on legislation that would have reduced the domestic surveillance ability of the National Security Agency.

The surveillance reform bill, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives in May and was supported by an overwhelming majority of Americans, would have ended the current practice of gathering metadata from millions of American telephone subscribers. The bill would have also ended the government’s secret process of getting foreign intelligence surveillance court orders by appointing a special privacy advocate and making significant court orders public (neither of which are currently an option).

Computer monitors inside the NSA's Threat Operations Center. [Public domain image]
Computer monitors inside the NSA’s Threat Operations Center. [Public domain image]
The bill was lauded as a step forward in protecting the civil liberties of ordinary, law abiding Americans while defending American interests from foreign threats. It received support from the Obama administration and major tech companies — including Google, Apple and Yahoo.

Privacy advocates asserted the bulk collection of American phone records, which had been procedural for almost a decade and continues today, had done very little to thwart foreign terrorism threats and attacks. Earlier claims that the programs helped to prevent more than 50 attacks were rebuked last December when a panel assembled by the White House found that the program was not essential to preventing terrorism (and, in fact, had never done so).

More than a year and a half after the clandestine domestic surveillance programs were exposed by whistleblower Edward Snowden, the U.S. Senate chose to block the progression of the only domestic surveillance reform legislation presented before it.

What follows is a list of the 42 elected officials who voted against moving forward on significant domestic surveillance reform, along with their social media handles and a link to send them a message on Twitter.

Senator NameRepresented StateTwitter HandleTweet Them
Alexander, Lamar (R)Tennessee@SenAlexanderTweet to @SenAlexander
Ayotte, Kelly (R)New Hampshire@KellyAyotte
Tweet to @KellyAyotte
Barrasso, John (R)Wyoming@SenJohnBarrasso
Tweet to @SenJohnBarrasso
Blunt, Roy (R)Missouri@RoyBlunt
Tweet to @RoyBlunt
Boozman, John (R)Arkansas@JohnBoozman
Tweet to @JohnBoozman
Burr, Richard (R)North Carolina@SenatorBurr
Tweet to @SenatorBurr
Chambliss, Saxby (R)Georgia@SaxbyChambliss
Tweet to @SaxbyChambliss
Coats, Daniel (R)Indiana@sendancoats
Tweet to @sendancoats
Coburn, Tom (R)Oklahoma@TomCoburn
Tweet to @TomCoburn
Cochran, Thad (R)Mississippi@SenThadCochran
Tweet to @SenThadCochran
Collins, Susan (R)Maine@senatorcollins
Tweet to @senatorcollins
Corker, Bob (R)Tennessee@senbobcorker
Tweet to @senbobcorker
Cornyn, John (R)Texas@JohnCornyn
Tweet to @JohnCornyn
Crapo, Michael (R)Idaho@mikecrapo
Tweet to @mikecrapo
Enzi, Michael (R)Wyoming@senatorenzi
Tweet to @senatorenzi
Fischer, Deb (R)Nebraska@SenatorFischer
Tweet to @SenatorFischer
Flake, Jeff (R)Arizona@JeffFlake
Tweet to @JeffFlake
Graham, Lindsey (R)South Carolina@grahamblog
Tweet to @grahamblog
Grassley, Charles (R)Iowa@chuckgrassley
Tweet to @chuckgrassley
Hatch, Orrin (R)Utah@SenOrrinHatch
Tweet to @SenOrrinHatch
Hoeven, John (R)North Dakota@SenJohnHoeven
Tweet to @SenJohnHoeven
Inhofe, James (R)Oklahoma@jiminhofe
Tweet to @jiminhofe
Isaakson, Johnny (R)Georgia@SenatorIsakson
Tweet to @SenatorIsakson
Johanns, Mike (R)Nebraska@mike_johanns
Tweet to @mike_johanns
Johnson, Ron (R)Wisconsin@senronjohnson
Tweet to @senronjohnson
Kirk, Mark (R)Illinois@senatorkirk
Tweet to @senatorkirk
McCain, John (R)Arizona@SenJohnMcCain
Tweet to @SenJohnMcCain
McConnell, Mitch (R)Kentucky@mcconnellpress
Tweet to @mcconnellpress
Moran, Jerry (R)Kansas@JerryMoran
Tweet to @JerryMoran
Nelson, Bill (D)Florida@senbillnelson
Tweet to @senbillnelson
Paul, Rand (R)Kentucky@SenRandPaul
Tweet to @SenRandPaul
Portman, Rob (R)Ohio@robportman
Tweet to @robportman
Risch, Jim (R)Idaho@SenatorRisch
Tweet to @SenatorRisch
Roberts, Pat (R)Kansas@senpatroberts
Tweet to @senpatroberts
Rubio, Marco (R)Florida@marcorubio
Tweet to @marcorubio
Scott, Tim (R)South Carolina@senatortimscott
Tweet to @senatortimscott
Sessions, Jeff (R)Alabama@SenatorSessions
Tweet to @SenatorSessions
Shelby, Richard (R)Alabama@SenShelby
Tweet to @SenShelby
Thune, John (R)South Dakota@senjohnthune
Tweet to @senjohnthune
Toomey, Patrick (R)Pennsylvania@SenToomey
Tweet to @SenToomey
Vitter, David (R)Louisiana@davidvitter
Tweet to @davidvitter
Wicker, Roger (R)Mississippi@SenatorWicker
Tweet to @SenatorWicker

[ Roll call source: U.S. Senate website ]