WASHINGTON – Today, House Judiciary Committee ranking member John Conyers, Jr., released the following statement after the Senate fell two votes short of ending debate on the USA FREEDOM Act of 2014. The 58-42 vote effectively cuts off any prospect of surveillance reform in the 113th Congress. The USA FREEDOM Act would have introduced sweeping reforms to various government surveillance programs, including the bulk collection of telephone metadata at the National Security Agency.
John Conyers, Jr.
"Although Senate Republicans have blocked progress on the USA FREEDOM Act, the fight to defend our privacy and our civil liberties is far from over. I was proud to champion this critical legislation through the House which has bipartisan support in the Congress, and has been endorsed by the tech community, privacy advocates, the intelligence community, and the President of the United States. Each of these constituencies knows that the expiring provisions of the PATRIOT Act sunset on June 1, 2015. With that deadline fast approaching, we will continue our work to restore the full measure of privacy guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
"I extend my sincere gratitude for Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) for his tireless dedication and leadership on this issue, and I look forward to working with him again to strengthen our national security laws in the 114th Congress."
On May 22, 2014, the House of Representatives passed the USA Freedom Act of 2014 (H.R. 3361) by a vote of 302-121. The bipartisan bill authored by Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.), would have ended bulk collection of data by the government and reform our nation’s intelligence-gathering programs operated under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©