For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Max Gleischman (Durbin) - (202) 228-5244
Zach Lowe (Feingold) - (202) 224-8657

Senator Dick Durbin and Senator Russ Feingold

On the Administration’s Willingness to Consider PATRIOT Act Reforms

WASHINGTON - The Department of Justice has responded to a letter from U.S. Senators Dick
Durbin (D-IL) and Russ Feingold (D-WI), in which the
Senators asked the Attorney General to consider bipartisan reforms to
the USA PATRIOT Act that they have proposed,
and which were supported by President Obama when he was in the Senate.  In
its response, the Department of Justice indicated willingness to consider
reforms to the USA PATRIOT Act.  Senators Feingold and Durbin, who plan to
introduce legislation soon, released the following statement after receiving
the response:  

“We
welcome the administration’s willingness to consider additional
safeguards for surveillance powers that have been vastly expanded in recent
years.  Congress should revise the USA PATRIOT Act and related authorities
to better protect the constitutional rights of American citizens, while
preserving the powers of our government to fight terrorism.  After the
Inspector General reports documenting rampant misuse of National Security
Letters, there can no longer be any doubt that granting overbroad authority leads
to abuses.  We must take this opportunity to get it right, once and for
all.  And we must be able to have a meaningful public debate so that the
American people and their representatives in Congress can understand how these
authorities have actually been used and make informed decisions about how they
should be used in the future.”

The
Durbin-Feingold letter, originally sent on August 6th, is available here.  More information on the
fixes Feingold and Durbin are seeking is available here.

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