Patriot Act champ Dennis Rehberg votes for more government spying

While ignoring Farm Bill, Congressman votes to renew warrantless wiretapping

BILLINGS, Mont. – Lobbyist Dennis Rehberg today cast yet another unpopular vote to allow the U.S. government to spy on law-abiding American citizens, a move that will face swift criticism across Montana.

Rehberg on Wednesday voted for a five-year extension of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which was amended to allow “a dramatic expansion of the abilities of the U.S. government to collect intelligence” on U.S. citizens.

Rehberg’s vote would allow government agent to listen in on private phone conversations and read emails—without a warrant.

Tester, a longtime advocate of constitutional privacy rights, has consistently opposed allowing government spying on law-abiding Montanans.

Rehberg is a longtime been a supporter of government spying, voting five times for the unpopular Patriot Act.

Rehberg also voted to pass his own controversial H.R. 1505, legislation allowing the U.S. government “unprecedented power” to make top-down decisions about federal lands within 100 miles of Montana’s northern border. H.R. 1505 could allow government agents to build roads, watchtowers and buildings on public lands without public input.

Rehberg today voted to allow government spying only hours after Montana farmers and ranchers criticized him for failing to pass a Farm Bill as the state reels from one of the hottest and driest summers on record.

“Lobbyist Dennis Rehberg won’t stand up for Montana’s farmers and ranchers during a record drought, but he managed to find a way to support more unconstitutional government,” said Montanans for Tester spokeswoman Alexandra Fetissoff. “From the Patriot Act to his federal land-grab bill to unwarranted spying on private citizens, Congressman Dennis Rehberg’s wrong priorities are taking away Montanans’ freedoms.”