Charlie Melancon on Homeland Security
Democratic Representative (LA-3)
Voted YES on restricting no-bid defense contracts.
- Improving the Quality of Contracts--to restrict the contract period of noncompetitive contracts to the minimum period necessary to meet urgent requirements; and not more than one year unless the the government would be seriously injured.
- Increasing Contract Oversight--to make publicly available (on websites) justification documents for using noncompetitive contract procedures.
- Promoting Integrity in Contracting--to prohibit former federal officials from accepting compensation from contractors as lawyers or lobbyists.
Proponents support voting YES because:
In Iraq, we were told we needed Halliburton to get a contract without any competition because they were the only ones who know how to put out oil well fires. So they got a contract on a cost-plus basis even though they had a history of overcharging the taxpayers. And then later we found out that they didn't do anything about putting out oil well fires in the first Gulf war; it was Bechtel, not
Reference: Accountability in Contracting Act;
Bill H R 1362
; vote number 2007-156
on Mar 15, 2007
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.
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
Reference: Intelligence Authorization Act;
Bill HR 5020 resolution H RES 774
; vote number 2006-108
on Apr 26, 2006
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