From the Office of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

Pelosi Statement on SAFE Act

March 8, 2004

Washington, D.C. -- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today on cosponsoring the Security and Freedom Ensured Act of 2003 (SAFE) act, H.R. 3335:

"As we protect and defend the American people against terrorism, we must protect and defend the Constitution and the civil liberties that define our democracy.

"When Congress voted for the Patriot Act, it was clearly understood that the Patriot Act was intended to combat terrorism. Now that we have had time to assess how the Patriot Act is being used, it is clear that Attorney General John Ashcroft has misused the Patriot Act for investigations that have nothing to do with terrorism. We should not simply extend it, but we should correct it to prevent abuses of our civil liberties.

"In particular, we need to look at measures to restore the federal judiciary’s role to ensure that the Attorney General’s far-reaching powers are not abused. The SAFE Act, which I am proud to cosponsor, would modify the Patriot Act by requiring court approval for the FBI to obtain records and wiretaps. The SAFE Act would also make clear that the exercise of political protest is protected. We should be able to keep the American people safe without threatening our civil liberties."




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