Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On House Passage of the USA FREEDOM Act of 2015

[Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following comment Wednesday after the House overwhelmingly approved the bipartisan, bicameral USA FREEDOM Act to end the NSA’s dragnet surveillance of Americans’ phone records.  Leahy is the lead Democratic coauthor of the legislation in the Senate, which he recently introduced with Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah).  The White House endorsed the bill on Tuesday in a Statement of Administration Policy.]

“The overwhelming vote in the House should send a strong signal to Senate Republican leaders that momentum is on the side of surveillance reform.  A bipartisan majority in the House, a unanimous three-judge panel on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, the Administration, the Attorney General, the Director of National Intelligence, and most importantly the American people are all urging Congress to act.  The House has done its part, and now it is up to the Senate. 

“The USA FREEDOM Act of 2015 is a true bipartisan compromise.  I would prefer more reforms as anyone can see from previous versions of the bill that I have introduced.   Other Senators would prefer more dragnet surveillance. The USA FREEDOM Act achieves the important goal of ending the NSA’s bulk collection program while ensuring the intelligence community’s capabilities.  Senate Republicans have an opportunity to avoid brinkmanship on this important national security issue.  The Senate should take up and pass the USA FREEDOM Act.”


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