House Judiciary Committee Passes PATRIOT Reauthorization Bill

Yesterday, the  USA Patriot Amendments Act of 2009 (H.R. 3845) was reported favorably out of the House Judiciary Committee by a vote of 16-10. During the mark-up, the Committee adopted Chairman Conyers’ manager’s amendment that tightens the standards for issuing National Security Letters and adopts important new reporting, audit and oversight provisions. Unfortunately, the committee also adopted an amendment offered by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA-29) that struck the “specific and articulable facts” language for Sec. 215 orders.

Thank you to all of you who took action on our alert to ask your representatives to co-sponsor H.R. 3845. Earlier this week, AALL, MLA and SLA sent a letter to Chairman John Conyers (D-MI-14), Jerrold Nadler(D-NY-8) and Bobby Scott (D-VA-3) to express support for the bill.

As we reported in the October E-Bulletin, the Senate Judiciary Committee reported the USA PATRIOT Act Sunset Extension Act of 2009 (S. 1692) favorably out of committee on October 13. The bill will now go to the Senate floor for a vote.

For more information about the fast-moving PATRIOT Act reauthorization process, please take a look at our updated Issue Brief.

[Posted by Emily Feldman]

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