Larry Siems (PEN), 212-334-1660 ext. 105
Judith Platt (AAP), 202-220-4551
Bernadette Murphy (ALA), 202-628-8410 ext. 236
Washington, D.C., August 11, 2005—Organizations representing booksellers, librarians, publishers and writers today warned that final action on the re-authorization of the PATRIOT Act could come only days after Congress returns from its August recess and urged their members to continue to pressure their representatives in the House and Senate to restore the safeguards for the privacy of bookstore and library records. They were responding to a report that President Bush hopes to sign the re-authorization act on the fourth anniversary of the September 11 attacks.
The Campaign for Reader Privacy urged supporters to ask their House representatives to consider adding their names to a letter that Rep. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is circulating that calls on the conferees who will reconcile the House and Senate versions of the re-authorization bill to adopt the provisions of the Senate bill, S. 1389. AWe believe that the changes in S. 1389 provide greater safeguards to Americans' library and bookstore records and reflect the desire of a majority of House members, who voted 238-187 on June 15th to provide greater privacy protections for readers,@ Sanders writes in his letter, which is co-authored by Representatives C.L. "Butch" Otter (R-ID), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Ron Paul (R-TX) and Tom Udall (D-NM).
The Campaign also urged its supporters to contact the members of the Senate who have been chosen as conferees on the re-authorization bill. They are Arlen Specter (R-PA), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Michael DeWine (R-OH), Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Edward Kennedy (D-MA), Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and Carl Levin (D-MI). The House has not chosen conferees yet.