The Patriot Act was passed in 2001 in the wake of the tragic 9/11 terrorist attacks.
In the name of combatting terrorism, the sweeping law vastly expanded the federal government's surveillance powers and ability to spy on Americans. In the nearly two decades since, the National Security Agency's mass warrantless surveillance of American citizens was exposed by whistleblower Edward Snowden, a key government spying program was declared illegal by a federal court, and only a minuscule percentage of federal spying has been tied to terrorism.
Nevertheless, much of the Patriot Act has remained on the books and in use for decades. Two members of Congress from opposite sides of the political spectrum want to change that.
Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a progressive Democrat, has just introduced a bill alongside libertarian-leaning Republican Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky to repeal the Patriot Act, revoke much of the FISA Amendments Act, and restore Americans' privacy protections. Their legislation would do the following (and more):