F James Sensenbrenner Jr

Patriot Act author introduces bill to halt NSA snooping

by Stephen Dinan-The Washington Times  |  published on October 29, 2013

The Republican author of the Patriot Act in the House and the senior Democrat in the Senate teamed together Tuesday to write a bill that would stop the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of phone records and require a court order if the government wants to search through Americans’ communications.

“Somewhere along the way, the balance between security and privacy was lost. It’s now time for the judiciary committees to again come together in a bipartisan fashion to ensure the law is properly interpreted, past abuses are not repeated and American liberties are protected,” said Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr., the Wisconsin Republican who sponsored the Patriot Act in 2001, and has written the new bill along with Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, the Vermont Democrat who is chairman of the SenateJudiciary Committee.

The bill sets up a major clash that will likely play out the rest of this year as Congress grapples with the revelations about government snooping.

The Senate intelligence committee is poised to vote later Tuesday on a bill that would preserve NSA’s ability to collect data about Americans’ phone calls, with some tighter restrictions and more reporting.

But Mr. Leahy and Mr. Sensenbrenner said Americans need more.

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