Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On House Passage Of The USA FREEDOM Act

[Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following comment Thursday after the House approved a modified version of the USA FREEDOM Act. 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 is based on the bipartisan legislation that Leahy and Sensenbrenner have championed since last year.]

“I applaud the House of Representatives for taking an important step towards reforming our nation’s surveillance authorities.  For years, several of us in Congress have been attempting to have an open and thoughtful debate about both the sweep and implications of these programs.  The House’s strong vote represents progress that few could have predicted less than a year ago.

“Today’s action in the House continues the bipartisan effort to restore Americans’ civil liberties.  But I was disappointed that the legislation passed today does not include some of the meaningful reforms contained in the original USA FREEDOM Act.  I will continue to push for these important reforms when the Senate Judiciary Committee considers the USA FREEDOM Act next month.”

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