U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin
Press Release

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Votes to Move Bipartisan USA FREEDOM Act Forward

Legislation to Rein In Warrantless Surveillance of Americans Blocked in the Senate

By - Nov 20th, 2014 07:26 am

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin this week voted to move to debate on S. 2685, the USA FREEDOM Act, legislation that would place important limits on intelligence agencies and better protect Americans’ privacy rights. On Tuesday, Republicans in the Senate voted to block the legislation from advancing, by a vote of 58-42.

“The version of the USA FREEDOM Act before the Senate this week would have made important progress in reining in abuses by intelligence agencies and protecting Americans’ privacy rights. I also believe that legislation could have been strengthened further, and I am disappointed that my Republican colleagues prevented us from even debating it. More than a decade ago, I opposed the USA PATRIOT Act because I believed it would open the door to government overreach. Since then, we have seen that secret, domestic surveillance programs at the National Security Agency have crossed the line. While it does not address every issue, the USA FREEDOM Act is a bipartisan solution – supported by the Administration, civil rights and civil liberties groups, and Internet companies – which would both strengthen our counterterrorism efforts and respect the civil liberties and freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution.”

The USA FREEDOM Act of 2014 ends the bulk collection of Americans’ private records, provides intelligence agencies authority to collect phone records in a targeted manner, and requires greater transparency regarding surveillance activities. The bipartisan legislation revised the version of the USA FREEDOM Act approved by the House of Representatives in May, by closing numerous loopholes that would allow continued abuses.

Senator Baldwin is a cosponsor of the original Senate version of the USA FREEDOM Act, S. 1599.

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