I believe we can and must protect our nation, while upholding the values that make America a beacon of hope to people around the world. America is strong because we are a nation of inherent freedoms and just laws. I will always fight to ensure that our civil liberties remain intact and that all Americans be treated equally under the law.
Reforming the PATRIOT Act
While serving in the House of Representatives, I was one of 66 members to vote against the passage of the so-called USA PATRIOT Act in 2001. I have long believed that this legislation was a clear and irresponsible infringement on Americans' civil liberties.
I support legislation to reform the Patriot Act and other surveillance laws, to better protect Americans' constitutional right to privacy while ensuring that the government has the tools necessary to effectively fight terrorism.
Protecting Passenger Privacy
In recent years, the Transportation Security Administration stepped up the use of full-body x-ray machines. In 2012, I added a provision to an aviation reauthorization bill that would eliminate this invasive "electronic strip search." My provision will require that all of these machines receive a software update by the summer of 2013 that automatically recognizes potential threats without invasive body imaging. This technology will alert agents to a red patch on a generic silhouette that would identify where the suspicious item is on the passenger while better maintaining the individual's privacy.