Moments ago, after three amendments that would have gutted it failed in a series of roll call votes, the USA FREEDOM Act passed the Senate by a vote of 67 to 32. Having previously passed the House by one of the largest bipartisan margins in recent history (338- 88), the first serious reform of the nation’s surveillance law is now en route to the White House where the President is poised to sign it this evening.
Victories like this don’t just happen. They take collaboration with equally committed organizations and activists, and they take thousands of librarians fighting for years to restore the civil liberties of Americans eroded by the PATRIOT Act and the excesses of the NSA and other agencies. This first but important victory is yours.
Tomorrow, the fight for further badly needed reforms will go on. Tonight, ALA thanks its allies in Washington and, most of all, you – for your commitment, for your passion, and for answering the call when it came to contact Congress and demand that it right serious wrongs.
You passed the USA FREEDOM Act today because you answered the call. BRAVO!
(ALA’s official statement is online here.)