Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Action by the House Judiciary Committee to End Bulk Collection

[Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following comment Wednesday after the House Judiciary Committee approved a modified version of the USA FREEDOM Act to end bulk collection. Leahy is the lead Democratic coauthor of the bipartisan USA FREEDOM Act, a bill he introduced jointly with Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) in October. The legislation approved by the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday is based on the bipartisan legislation that Leahy and Sensenbrenner have championed since last year.]

“The House Judiciary Committee has taken an historic step by unanimously reporting legislation to end the bulk collection of Americans’ phone records.  The committee’s overwhelming, bipartisan vote makes clear that there is broad support in Congress, after years of debate, to recalibrate the nation’s surveillance authorities and put a real oversight structure in place.  I remain concerned that the legislation approved today does not include some of the important reforms related to national security letters, a strong special advocate at the FISA Court, and greater transparency.  I will continue to push for those reforms when the Senate Judiciary Committee considers the USA FREEDOM Act this summer.

“I congratulate Chairman Goodlatte, Ranking Member Conyers, and Congressman Sensenbrenner for leading this important effort and I urge all House members to uphold the rights of all Americans and support the USA FREEDOM Act.”

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