GOP rep: I made a 'terrible mistake' in last year's Patriot Act vote

A California Republican said Friday that he made a "terrible mistake" in previously voting to extend provisions of the Patriot Act that allow the government to hack into e-mail and bank accounts without a search warrant.


Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) said on Fox Business Network that it is the reason why the Patriot Act "is so dangerous."


"A year ago, I made a terrible mistake and voted to extend those provisions of the Patriot Act," he said. "But the more that I learned, the more that I researched, it became crystal clear to me this that this is not only an affront to our bill of rights, but it's a fundamental challenge to our freedom."

McClintock was asked about House Republicans shying away from extended debate and hearings on the act.

"They're afraid of terrorism and an organized fifth column in our country, but look at our history," he said. "We have faced far more malignant and powerful governments and far better organized networks of spies and saboteurs in this country before without having to shred our constitution. This is no time to start."

The House is expected to finish up work on an extension of Patriot Act surveillance authorities next week.