Pelosi: 'Patriot Act Conference Report Does Not Secure Right Balance Between National Security and Civil Liberties'
Friday, December 9, 2005
Washington, D.C. - House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement on the partisan USA Patriot Act House-Senate conference report that was filed last night by the Republican majority, without the signature of any Democratic conferee:
"As we protect and defend the American people, we must remain vigilant in protecting law-abiding American citizens from unaccountable governmental intrusion over their personal records. Unfortunately, the USA Patriot Act conference report fails to meet these objectives and fails to address numerous concerns many of us had with the House version of the extension legislation.
"The conference report does not contain safeguards that many House Members, on a bipartisan basis, requested, and fails to contain the critical improvements in the Senate bill. It would still permit personal records to be seized and retained indefinitely without any obligation on the part of the government to demonstrate a connection to terrorism.
"I cannot support the Patriot Act conference report because it does not secure the right balance between our national security and civil liberties.
"I do support the efforts of the Ranking Members of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees to provide a three-month extension of the Patriot Act so the conferees can reconvene and get it right; the Congress must enact legislation that provides law enforcement officials the tools they need without seriously curtailing the privacy and civil liberties of the American people. We have an obligation to do better for the American people."