Comment Of Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), On The Need To Pass The USA FREEDOM Act TODAY

“I have tried since last year to move legislation through the Senate to accomplish reform well before the sunset deadline.  In November Senator Reid brought the USA FREEDOM Act to the floor but Senate Republican leaders blocked debate on it.  When Republicans took over the Senate, they assured us that they would send bills – including this one – through appropriate committee work and an open amendment process on the floor.  Instead, Republican leaders squandered time and bipartisan consensus and manufactured a deadline crisis that has forced an expiration of surveillance authorities.  Now they want to change this carefully crafted legislation.  As the House already has done, the Senate should pass the USA FREEDOM Act without change and without delay.  We can do that today, if Senators cooperate.  The Senate should send the USA FREEDOM Act directly to the President so he can sign it into law and end the NSA’s bulk collection program today.”

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