Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) is waging a fight against two legislative priorities of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) in a disagreement over the reach of government when it comes to intelligence and surveillance.
In fact, reports Roll Call, Wyden has put a hold on "every major bill coming out of her [Senate] Intelligence Committee in the past two years."
The Roll Call story also says Wyden has become a favorite of civil liberties groups.
Roll Call reports:
The holds he has placed on
national security bills are not motivated by an urge just to arbitrarily block
them, said Sharon Bradford Franklin, senior counsel for the Constitution
âItâs very helpful for him to
raise the profile and ask the Senate to not rush consideration of these bills
when there are very serious civil liberties concerns,â Franklin said. Wydenâs
hold on the extension of the 2008 surveillance law means the Senate will have
to set aside floor time to debate the bill and consider amendments, a move
Wyden said he welcomed.
Because of his stateâs
political demographics, a mix of urban liberalism and rural libertarianism,
Wyden can be aggressive in his defense of civil liberties without facing loud
charges from constituents that he is âsoft on terrorism,â said Jake Weigler,
who managed Wydenâs 2010 reelection campaign and now works for the public
affairs firm Strategies 360.
âHe grew up with those
values, but sees them reflected in his home state,â he said. âIt allows him to
be more outspoken than senators in other states where it would be a political