Sherry Boehlert on Homeland Security
Former Republican/Independence Representative (NY-24, retired 2006)
Voted YES on allowing electronic surveillance without a warrant.
Amends the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA) to allow the President & Attorney General to authorize electronic surveillance without a court order to acquire foreign intelligence information, after certifying that the surveillance is directed at the acquisition of communications of foreign agents.
Proponents support voting YES because:
Intelligence is the first line of defense in the war on terrorism. That means we have to have intelligence agencies and capabilities that are agile, that are responsive to changes in technology, and that also protect the civil liberties of Americans. Let me make an analogy. With modernization, we replaced Route 66 with Interstate 40. We no longer have the stoplights and the intersections. We created on ramps and off ramps and concrete barriers to protect the citizens where traffic was moving very quickly. That is like what we are trying to do here--FISA needs modernization.
Opponents support voting NO because:
We are legislating in the dark. We do not even know what the President is doing now because he will not tell us. The New York Times exposed that the administration had authorized secret surveillance of domestic conversations. When exposed, the President claimed he was operating under inherent powers, but court decisions have found that the President cannot simply declare administration actions constitutional and lawful, whether or not they are.
Yet rather than finding out what is going on, this legislation retroactively legalizes whatever has been going on. The President already has broad latitude to conduct domestic surveillance, including surveillance of American citizens, so long as it is overseen by the FISA court.
This bill does not enhance security, but it does allow surveillance without the traditional checks and balances that have served our Nation well.
Reference: Update the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978;
; vote number 2006-502
on Sep 28, 2006
Voted YES on continuing intelligence gathering without civil oversight.
A resolution providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 5020) to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2007 for intelligence and intelligence-related activities. Voting YES indicates support of the current methods for intelligence-gathering used by the CIA and other agencies. The resolution's opponents say:
- This bill could have and should have required a dedicated funding line for the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board. The 9/11 Commission recommended this board to serve as a civil liberties watchdog on the potential erosion of the basic constitutional rights. Now, 15 months later, we find our concerns about basic civil rights to have been well founded, but the oversight board is barely up and running [and is not funded].
- Many of us believe that when the President authorized the NSA surveillance of Americans, he broke the law, plain and simple.
- We are talking about the most basic fundamental civil liberties that protect the American people, and the Republican leadership will
not even let us debate it. What are they afraid of?
- If you believe that this President should have the ability to spy on Americans without a warrant and without going to the FISA court, then they should write that bill and bring it to the floor, then have a debate and a vote.
The resolution's proponents say:
Reference: Intelligence Authorization Act;
Bill HR 5020 resolution H RES 774
; vote number 2006-108
on Apr 26, 2006
- We have had the good fortune in this country for the last 4 1/2 years to have not had another terrorist attack on our soil, and it is not because they haven't tried. The reason for that success boils down to two things: the courage of our soldiers and the quality of our intelligence. Exceptional intelligence is the first line of defense for America in the long war on terrorism.
- I think as a responsible body we have to start out by getting the facts. That means hard work that is done largely in secret. Oversight is under way, and, for the most part, the National Security Agency has been very forthcoming.
Voted YES on federalizing rules for driver licenses to hinder terrorists.
REAL ID Act of 2005: To establish and rapidly implement regulations for State driver's license and identification document security standards, to prevent terrorists from abusing the asylum laws of the United States, to unify terrorism-related grounds for inadmissibility and removal, and to ensure expeditious construction of the San Diego border fence.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Rep. James Sensenbrenner [R, WI-5];
; vote number 2005-031
on Feb 10, 2005
- Title I: Amendments to Federal Laws to Protect Against Terrorist Entry - defining more factors relevant to credibility determinations in asylum cases.
- Title II: Improved Security for Driver's Licenses and Personal Identification Cards - setting minimum security requirements, including the incorporation of specified data, a common machine-readable technology, and certain anti-fraud security features. Title III: Border Infrastructure and Technology Integration - studying ground surveillance technologies.
Voted YES on continuing military recruitment on college campuses.
Expresses the continued support of Congress for, and encourages the executive branch to continue challenging any judicial decision against, specified provisions of Federal law prohibiting making certain Federal contracts with or grants to institutions of higher education that prevent military recruiters from having access to their campuses and to certain information about their students.
Reference: Resolution sponsored by Rep Mike Rogers [R, AL-3];
; vote number 2005-016
on Feb 2, 2005
Voted YES on emergency $78B for war in Iraq & Afghanistan.
Emergency Wartime Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2003: Vote to pass the bill that would supply $77.9 billion in emergency supplemental appropriations in fiscal 2003, including $62.5 billion for military operations in Iraq and the war on terrorism. The bill would also provide for $4.2 billion for homeland security, $8 billion in aid to allies and for Iraqi relief and rebuilding; $3.2 billion for U.S. airlines to cover additional security costs; and $1 billion in aid to Turkey.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Young, R-FL;
Bill HR 1559
; vote number 2003-108
on Apr 3, 2003
Voted YES on permitting commercial airline pilots to carry guns.
Armed Airline Pilots Bill: Vote to pass a bill that would create a program where commercial pilots would be deputized as federal law enforcement officers and would then be permitted to carry guns aboard airlines. To participate in the program, commercial pilots would have to undergo specialized training. At least 250 commercial pilots would undergo the training. Within two months of the bill's enactment, the Transportation Security Agency or TSA, would then be required to begin weapons training for pilots who had volunteered for the program. Airlines and pilots will not be held legally accountable when defending planes from terrorist acts except in cases of willful misconduct or gross negligence The TSA could temporarily put the program on hold if a pilot's gun unintentionally discharges and causes injury to a crew member or passanger. The bill also would entail flight attendants to undergo self-defense training. Also study training all federal law enforcement officers on aviation anti-terrorism.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Young, R-FL;
Bill HR 4635
; vote number 2002-292
on Jul 10, 2002
Voted YES on $266 billion Defense Appropriations bill.
Vote to pass a bill appropriating $266 billion in defense spending for FY 2000. Among other provisions the bill would allot $1.2 billion for research and development for next-generation tactical aircraft, yet would not include $1.8 billion in procurement funds for the new F-22 Raptor combat aircraft. The bill would also fund a 4.8 percent pay increase for military personnel. The bill would also allot $93.7 billion for operations and maintenance to be used to maintain military properties and spare parts that have been reduced due to overseas military combat missions.
Reference: Bill introduced by Lewis, R-CA;
Bill HR 2561
; vote number 1999-334
on Jul 22, 1999
Voted YES on deploying SDI.
Vote to declare it to be the policy of the United States to deploy a national missile defense.
Reference: Bill introduced by Weldon, R-PA;
Bill HR 4
; vote number 1999-4
on Mar 18, 1999
Rated 22% by SANE, indicating a pro-military voting record.
Boehlert scores 22% by SANE on peace issues
Peace Action, the merger of The Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy (SANE) and The Freeze, has effectively mobilized for peace and disarmament for over forty years. As the nation's largest grassroots peace group we get results: from the 1963 treaty to ban above ground nuclear testing, to the 1996 signing of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, from ending the war in Vietnam, to blocking weapons sales to human rights abusing countries. We are proof that ordinary people can change the world. At Peace Action we believe...
As the Pentagonís budget soars to $400 billion, 17% of American children live in poverty. For what the US will spend on Missile Defense in one year we could: put over a million children through Head Start OR provide healthcare for over 3.5 million children OR create over 100,000 units of affordable housing OR hire over 160,000 elementary school teachers. At Peace Action our priorities are clear.
- That every person has the right to live without the threat of nuclear weapons.
- That war is not a suitable response to conflict.
- That America has the resources to both protect and provide for its citizens.
The ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.
Source: SANE website 03n-SANE on Dec 31, 2003
No US troops under UN command; more defense spending.
Boehlert signed the Contract with America:
[As part of the Contract with America, within 100 days we pledge to bring to the House Floor the following bill]:
The National Security Restoration Act:
Source: Contract with America 93-CWA8 on Sep 27, 1994
No US troops under UN command, and restoration of the essential parts of our national security funding to strengthen our national defense and maintain our credibility around the world.
Page last updated: Mar 11, 2011