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CPC Demands Meaningful Reform to Mass Surveillance Law

Washington, D.C.– Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Rául M. Grijalva (D-AZ) released the following statement following the markup of the USA Liberty Act (H.R. 3989) by the House Judiciary Committee:

“As the deadline to reauthorize broad government surveillance powers established under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act approaches, it is clear that only a bill that includes substantial reforms to protect journalists, activists, and citizens can pass the House and become law. “

“The USA Liberty Act, sponsored by CPC Member John Conyers, includes important provisions that will improve due process and provide privacy protections for some Americans. The CPC believes it could be further strengthened by requiring government agencies to obtain a warrant before searching Americans’ private communications housed in foreign surveillance databases.   The USA RIGHTS Act, offered by CPC Member Zoe Lofgren, includes important provisions that will close this “backdoor search loophole”.

“Speaker Ryan should provide a meaningful opportunity for the full House to consider further reforms, like the bipartisan amendment offered by Rep. Lofgren and Rep. Poe during yesterday’s markup, as a part of an open amendment process when the bill reaches the floor.”

“The debates around these surveillance authorities go to the heart of the nature of our democracy, the balance of privacy and security, and the constitutional right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure. We know that the freedom to express ourselves and join together to promote the causes we believe in is diminished when the government can invade our private communications.  The CPC looks forward to working with our House colleagues to ensure that any reauthorization of these authorities protects both our safety and our freedom.”

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The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) is the largest caucus within the House Democratic Caucus, with over 70 members standing up for progressive ideals in Washington and throughout the country. Since 1991, the CPC has advocated for progressive policies that prioritize working Americans over corporate interests, fight economic and social inequality, and promote civil liberties. The CPC champions progressive policy solutions like comprehensive immigration reform, a $15 national minimum wage, fair trade, gun violence reform, debt-free college, and making the federal government a Model Employer.

 

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