From Hope Marston at the Bill of Rights Defense Committee
The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act may not be as dead as it was portrayed in the CQ Politics article of mid-December. I apologize for hurrying on Friday to tell you news that appears now to be not news at all.
This morning I was told by other DC allies that S 1959 (the twin of HR 1955, which passed 404-6 in October) is still before the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in the Senate. According to one source, Sen. Susan Collins, the sponsor of the bill in the Senate, realizes there has been opposition to the bill, and is open to hearing from her constituents.
Others on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (where the bill now waits to be passed or not passed):
Joseph I. Lieberman Chairman (ID) (CT)
Carl Levin (MI)
Daniel K. Akaka (HI)
Thomas R. Carper (DE)
Mark L. Pryor (AR)
Mary L. Landrieu (LA)
Barack Obama (IL)
Claire McCaskill (MO)
Jon Tester (MT)
Susan M. Collins Ranking Member (ME)
Ted Stevens (AK)
George V. Voinovich (OH)
Norm Coleman (MN)
Tom Coburn (OK)
Pete V. Domenici (NM)
John Warner (VA)
John E. Sununu (NH)
If your senator is on the committee, you might be able to help stop this bill from ever reaching the floor for a vote by meeting locally with the senator's aides. They do listen to their aides, especially when groups of constituents take the time to visit with and help educate them about the local feeling on a particular piece of legislation. Letters to the editor and opinion editorials that are published, clipped and sent to senators are also helpful. For tips on how to arrange meetings with aides, see: http://www.bordc.org/resources/workshop4.php
I apologize for getting so wrapped up in the excitement of the news the bill was dead -- only to learn now that negotiations are still ongoing to try to improve the bill. I will let you know what I learn as this process continues.