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Congresswoman Suzan DelBene

Representing the 1st District of Washington

DelBene Statement on Committee Passage of USA Freedom Act

May 7, 2014
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – In a unanimous bipartisan vote, the House Judiciary Committee passed the USA Freedom Act today which would reform the NSA and end the government’s surveillance programs that collect American’s phone data in bulk.

Congresswoman Suzan DelBene is an original cosponsor of the USA Freedom Act and was successful in getting a key amendment included in the final bill that passed today. DelBene's amendment would strengthen transparency by permitting greater disclosure by private companies of U.S. government requests for user data.

After committee passage of the USA Freedom Act, DelBene issued the following statement:

“Today’s action by the House Judiciary Committee brings us one step closer to reining in the NSA and ending the government’s bulk collection of the communications data of innocent Americans.

“I commend Chairman Goodlatte, Ranking Member Conyers and Congressman Sensenbrenner for their efforts in moving this important piece of legislation forward.

“I especially appreciate their willingness to work with me to insert transparency provisions that will help inform the American public of when and how often the government is requesting their personal data from private companies.

“While this bill isn’t perfect, it is far better than existing law and it unequivocally ends bulk collection. I am eager to continue working with my colleagues to bring the USA Freedom Act to the House floor for a vote. I am confident that this bipartisan bill has the broad support necessary to pass. Getting this done will go a long way in protecting the privacy of Americans and get us closer to striking the right balance between civil liberties and national security that has disappointingly been out of balance for the past decade.

“The secret government surveillance programs that involved the bulk collection of American communications records are nothing short of a violation of individual privacy and civil liberties. As the bill moves forward, I’m committed to continue refining the bill to strengthen provisions to improve transparency, accountability and privacy protections. What’s important today is that, in a bipartisan manner, the Judiciary Committee took a strong step forward, and now it’s time to continue fighting to ensure that the reforms in the USA Freedom Act become law.”