05.23.15

Leahy: Senate Must Have Meaningful Debate About Americans’ Privacy Rights

WASHINGTON (Saturday, May 23, 2015) – Senate Republicans delayed for another week debate on the USA FREEDOM Act, an historic bill to rein in surveillance authorities and ensure Americans’ privacy rights.

Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), coauthor of the bipartisan legislation that overwhelmingly passed the House just last week, said Republican leaders should not be putting off such a critical debate.  However, Leahy said the broad coalition that supports reform will be ready when the issue hits the Senate floor on Sunday, May 31.

“What gets lost in this manufactured crisis is the work of the last two years to draft a responsible bill that protects individual privacy and national security,” he said.  “It is frustrating that with all that we did to build consensus, we are now facing more delay.  It is time for Republican leadership to allow the USA FREEDOM Act to receive an up or down vote.  The majority of the Senate wants to pass it and send it to the President.  When the Senate returns next Sunday, I hope we will.”

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