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House votes 238-187 to zap a small portion of Patriot Act

House votes 238-187 to zap a small portion of Patriot Act
House votes 238-187 to zap a small portion of Patriot Act

Summary of amendment:
An amendment numbered 15 printed in the Congressional Record to prohibit 
funds in the bill from being used to implement provisions of Section 215 
of the USA PATRIOT Act which permits searches of library circulation 
records, library patron lists, book sales records, or book customer 
lists under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

Roll call vote: 

Background on sec. 215: 

Washington Post's coverage: 
"The House handed President Bush the first defeat in his effort to 
preserve the broad powers of the USA Patriot Act, voting yesterday to 
curtail the FBI's ability to seize library and bookstore records for 
terrorism investigations.Bush has threatened to veto any measure that 
weakens those powers. The surprise 238 to 187 rebuke to the White House 
was produced when a handful of conservative Republicans, worried about 
government intrusion, joined with Democrats who are concerned about 
personal privacy."


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: ACLU Applauds House Stance Against Intrusive Patriot Act Power
Date: Wed, 15 Jun 2005 19:29:51 -0400
From: Inouye, Shin  
To: Inouye, Shin  

ACLU Applauds House Stance Against Intrusive Patriot Act Power;
Bipartisan Majority Adopts "Freedom to Read" Amendment

Wednesday, June 15, 2005									

Contact: Shin Inouye
(202) 675-2312

WASHINGTON - The American Civil Liberties Union today applauded the 
House of Representatives for adopting the "Freedom to Read" proposal - 
offered by Rep. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). It denies funding for FBI access 
to library and bookstore records under section 215 of the Patriot Act. 
A bipartisan majority (238-187) approved the measure as an amendment to 
a Department of Justice funding measure.

The following can be attributed to Gregory T. Nojeim, Acting Director of 
the ACLU Washington Legislative Office.

"It bodes well that the first vote Congress has taken on the Patriot Act 
this year has been in favor of liberty and freedom.  After weeks of 
hearings on the Patriot Act, fair-minded lawmakers - from both sides of 
the aisle - know that the Patriot Act must be brought in line with the 
Constitution by restoring proper checks and balances."

"By its own admission, the Department of Justice has not used section 
215 to target libraries, and yet it insists that it needs this 
extraordinary power.  These records are available in investigations to 
prevent crimes, including terrorism, when there is sufficient evidence 
of criminal activity.  Acting to protect our 'freedom to read' is a step 
in the right direction.  We call on Congress to amend this provision of 
the Patriot Act to put in place checks and balances on the use of this 
power, and to examine other controversial provisions in the same spirit. 
  The Patriot Act can - and must - be amended to preserve our 
fundamental freedoms."

For more on the ACLU's concerns with the Patriot Act, go to:  

> Shin Inouye
> Legislative Media Liaison
> ACLU Washington Legislative Office
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