While most House members have left Washington to return to their respective states, one representative is refusing to take a vacation.
Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) is staying in D.C. to keep an eye on proceedings while Congress is in recess, making sure that key provisions of the Patriot Act are not snuck through by voice vote while members are absent.
The Hill reports that Amash was concerned about possible low-key maneuvering by House leadership, although aides to Speaker Boehner have assured that he does not intend on using recess procedures to reauthorize the expiring Patriot Act provisions, which are scheduled to sunset June 1.
Some noticed the Congressman’s silent presence during the brief Tuesday session and made note of it on Twitter, to which Amash replied with one of Ronald Reagan’s signature quips:
According to Roll Call, Rep. Amash told reporters that he is skeptical of the reassurances that have come down from the House leadership.
“We’re just keeping an eye on the House,” Rep. Justin Amash told reporters repeatedly as he exited the Capitol after attending a pro forma session Tuesday afternoon.
“Promises have been made in the past,” he said, “and we’ve seen promises broken.”
Rep. Amash has been a leading voice in the House against mass surveillance allowed under Section 2015 of the Patriot Act, even opposing the Obama administration-backed “reform” bill known as the USA Freedom Act.
Amash opposes this legislation because it still reauthorizes much of what he believes is wrong with the Patriot Act and still does not adequately prevent mass data collection.
Sen. Rand Paul has also opposed the USA Freedom Act in the senate for reasons similar to Amash, where the Patriot Act’s fate should be determined in a special session on Sunday.