Freedom to Read Protection Act Now Has 58 Co-Sponsors

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At present, 58 fellow members of Congress have joined Rep. Bernie Sanders in introducing federal legislation that would remove a threat created by the USA Patriot Act to the privacy of bookstore and library records. The bill, H.R. 1157, the Freedom to Read Protection Act, would prevent the FBI from seeking "personally identifiable information concerning a patron of a bookseller or library." However, the government could still attempt to subpoena this information if it can make sufficient legal showing.

Currently, under the Patriot Act, the FBI has vastly expanded authority to search business records, including the records of bookstores and libraries. The FBI may request the records secretly, and it is not required to prove that there is "probable cause" to believe that the person whose records are being sought has committed a crime. In addition, the bookseller or librarian who receives an order is prohibited from revealing it to anyone except those whose help is needed to produce the records.

H.R. 1157 has been referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary and, in addition, to the Committee on Intelligence.

Below is a list of the bill's sponsors and co-sponsors, including Republican Congressman Ron Paul of Texas, who recently spoke to BTW regarding the importance of the Freedom to Read Protection Act. (To read the interview, click here).

Speaking about the growing list of sponsors, Chris Finan, president of the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, said, "We are very encouraged by the rapid increase in the support for the Freedom to Read Protection Act. We hope that the booksellers will take a look at the list of co-sponsors. If their representative is there, we're sure they will want to express their appreciation. If their representative is among the missing, we hope they will write to encourage him or her to support H.R. 1157."

It is generally the case that a letter on store or personal letterhead carries more weight with a representative. Given the delays in U.S. postal deliveries to Washington, D.C., following the anthrax scare, letters are best sent by fax. E-mail can easily be sent to a Congress member easily through the Web site http://www.house.gov/writerep.

Sponsors

 
Bernie Sanders
(I-VT)
bernie@mail.house.gov
Fax: (202) 225-6790

Ron Paul (R-TX)
rep.paul@mail.house.gov
No Fax Available

John Conyers (D-MI)
John.Conyers@mail.house.gov
Fax: (202) 225-0072

William Lipinski (D-IL)
http://www.house.gov/writerep
Fax: (202) 225-1012

Butch Otter (R-ID)
butch.otter@mail.house.gov
Fax: (202) 225-3029

Co-Sponsors

 
Neil Abercrombie
(D-HI)
Neil.Abercrombie@mail.house.gov
Fax: (202) 225-4580

Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
http://www.tammybaldwin.house.gov
Fax: (202) 225-6942

Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD)
http://www.house.gov/writerep/
Fax: (202) 225-2193

Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)
http://www.house.gov/blumenauer/contact.html
Fax: (202) 225-8941

Rick Boucher (D-VA)
Ninthnet@mail.house.gov
Fax: (202) 225-0442

Corrine Brown (D-FL)
http://www.house.gov/corrinebrown/
Fax: (202) 225-2256

Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
sherrod@mail.house.gov
Fax: (202) 225-2266

Lois Capps (D-CA)
http://www.house.gov/writerep
Fax: (202) 225-5632

Michael Capuano (D-MA)
http://www.house.gov/capuano
Fax: (202) 225-9322

Julia Carson (D-IN)
rep.carson@mail.house.gov
Fax: (202) 225-5633

Danny K. Davis (D-IL)
http://www.house.gov/davis/
Fax: (202) 225-5641

Peter Defazio (D-OR)
peter.defazio@mail.house.gov
No Fax Available

William D. Delahunt (D-MA)
william.delahunt@mail.house.gov
Fax: (202) 225-5658

Rosa L. DeLauro (D-CT)
http://www.house.gov/delauro/message.html
Fax: 203-772-2260

Eliot Engel (D-NY)
http://www.house.gov/writerep/
No fax available.

Anna Eshoo (D-CA)
annagram@mail.house.gov
Fax: (202) 225-8890

Sam Farr (D-CA)
http://www.house.gov/writerep
Fax: (202) 225-6791

Jeff Flake (R-AZ)
jeff.flake@mail.house.gov
Fax: (202) 226-4386

Harold E. Ford (D-TN)
http://www.house.gov/ford/write_your_representative.htm
Fax: (202) 225-5663

Barney Frank (D-MA)
http://www.house.gov/writerep/
Fax: (202) 225-0182

Raul Grijalva (D-AZ)
raul.grijalva@mail.house.gov
Fax: (202) 225-1541

Maurice Hinchey (D-NY)
http://www.house.gov/writerep/
Fax: (202) 226-0774

Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL)
webmaster@jessejacksonjr.org
No Fax Available

Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX)
http://www.house.gov/writerep
Fax: (202) 225-3317

William Jefferson (D-LA)
jeffersonmc@mail.house.gov
Fax: (202) 225-1988

Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-OH)
http://www.house.gov/tubbsjones/contact.htm
Fax: (202) 225-1339

Dale E. Kildee (D-MI)
http://www.house.gov/kildee/
Fax: (202) 225-6393

Carolyn C. Kilpatrick (D-MI)
http://www.house.gov/writerep/
Fax: (202) 225-5730

Dennis Kucinich (D-OH)
http://www.house.gov/writerep/
Fax: (202) 225-5745

Tom Lantos (D-CA)
http://www.house.gov/lantos/
No Fax Available

Rick Larsen (D-WA)
Rick.Larsen@mail.house.gov
Fax: (202) 225-4420

Barbara Lee (D-CA)
http://www.house.gov/writerep/
Fax: (202) 225-9817

Betty McCollum (D-MN)
http://www.house.gov/mccollum/contact.html
Fax: (202) 225-1968

Jim McDermott (D-WA)
http://www.house.gov/mcdermott/contact2.html
Fax: (202) 225-6197

James McGovern (D-MA)
http://www.house.gov/mcgovern/
Fax: (202) 225-5759

Donald Manzullo (R-IL)
http://www.house.gov/writerep/
Fax: (202) 225-5284

George Miller (D-CA)
George.Miller@mail.house.gov
Fax: (202) 225-5609

Dennis Moore (D-KS)
http://www.house.gov/writerep/
Fax: (202) 225-2807

Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)
Jerrold.Nadler@mail.house.gov
Fax: (202) 225-6923

Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC)
http://www.norton.house.gov/feedback.cfm?
campaign=norton&type=Contact%20Me

Fax: (202) 225-3002

John Oliver (D-MA)
http://www.house.gov/writerep
Fax: (202) 226-1224

Major Owens (D-NY)
major.owens@mail.house.gov
Fax: (202) 226-0112

Ed Pastor (D-AZ)
http://www.house.gov/writerep/
Fax: (202) 225-1655

Collin Peterson (D-MN)
http://collinpeterson.house.gov/email.htm
Fax: (202) 225-1593

Nick Rahall (D-WV)
nrahall@mail.house.gov
Fax: (202) 225-9061

Martin Sabo (D-MN)
http://www.house.gov/sabo/outside_mail_ok.htm
Fax: (202) 225-4886

Janice D. Schakowsky (D-IL)
http://www.house.gov/writerep/
Fax: (202) 226-6890

Jose Serrano (D-NY)
jserrano@mail.house.gov
Fax: (202) 225-6001

Pete Stark (D-CA)
petemail@stark.house.gov
Fax: (202) 226-3805

Edolphus Towns (D-NY)
http://www.house.gov/writerep/
Fax: (202) 225-1018

Mark Udall (D-CO)
http://www.house.gov/writerep/
Fax: (202) 226-7840

Tom Udall (D-NM)
http://www.house.gov/tomudall/letstalk.htm
Fax: (202) 226-1331

Maxine Waters (D-CA)
http://www.house.gov/waters/guest.htm
Fax: (202) 225-7854

Lynn Woolsey (D-CA)
http://woolsey.house.gov/emailform.asp
Fax: (202) 225-5163