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Culture

Patriot Act Reform Caucus created in Congress

Hundreds of congressional caucuses exist, from the Congressional Kidney Caucus and Congressional Wine Caucus to the Congressional Natural Hazards Caucus. Some, like the Congressional Black Caucus, are muscular enough to take an aggressive role in legislation.

As of Thursday, we now have the Patriot Act Reform Caucus.

Four not-exactly-mainstream members of Congress are planning to announce it at a press conference in the Cannon House Office Building this afternoon. The members: Reps. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Ron Paul (R-TX), and Jerry Nadler (D-NY).

It's not clear, though, how influential it will be unless its membership can dramatically expand. Sanders is an avowed socialist. Because Flake took office in 2001, he doesn't have much seniority so far. Paul is probably the most principled politician in Washington, D.C., but doesn't serve on the Judiciary Committee, which is considering the law. At least Nadler does.

Incidentally, the Judiciary Committee is continuing its hearings into what to do with the Patriot Act. Up for discussion today: Section 218.