Washington Markup

The USA FREEDOM Act is Real Spying Reform

The USA FREEDOM Act is Real Spying Reform

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:11am
Over the last several months, members of Congress have introduced at least two dozen spying reform and transparency bills. Today, a new proposal called the USA FREEDOM Act from Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) was introduced to significantly limit the collection and use of Americans' information under our nation's spying laws. The ACLU strongly supports the legislation.
No NSA Poster Child: The Real Story of 9/11 Hijacker Khalid al-Mihdhar

No NSA Poster Child: The Real Story of 9/11 Hijacker Khalid al-Mihdhar

By Mike German, Senior Policy Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:05am

This story originally appeared at Defense One.

Since whistleblower Edward Snowden exposed the incredible scope of the government’s domestic spying programs, two different narratives are moving forward in Congress.

One, expressed…

Freezing the Press

Freezing the Press

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:57pm

It’s been half a year since the Associated Press revealed a subpoena sweeping up phone metadata records for more than 20 of its lines, in offices where more than 100 reporters work, covering tens of thousands of newsgathering calls.

Members…

Keeping Families Together is the Heart of Immigration Debate

Keeping Families Together is the Heart of Immigration Debate

By Heejin Hwang, Washington Legislative Office at 12:49pm

Few things evoke stronger emotion and action than divided families.

One hundred fifty years ago for the United States, it was the Civil War. Sixty years ago for my family, it was the Korean War, when my grandmother could never again see family…

Is a 'Magic Wand' Needed To Fix Anti-Discrimination Bill?

Is a 'Magic Wand' Needed To Fix Anti-Discrimination Bill?

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:39pm

In a wide-ranging interview with Salon’s Josh Eidelson, Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), the first openly LGBT member of the U.S. Senate, was asked several questions about efforts to protect LGBT people from workplace discrimination, including the Employment…

The Guantánamo Money Pit

The Guantánamo Money Pit

By Zak Newman, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:55am

The New York Times last week had good news for those looking to cut the exorbitant spending associated with the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. According to the paper, the Department of Defense rejected a proposal from U.S. Southern Command for…

A Very Unhappy Anniversary for Low-Income Women

A Very Unhappy Anniversary for Low-Income Women

By Sarah Lipton-Lubet, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:07am

Some anniversaries just don't deserve a celebration, and today is one of them. Thirty-seven years ago today, Congress shut off Medicaid coverage for abortion care, unfairly targeting low-income women.

The Hyde Amendment, which was enacted…

It's Official: NSA Wants to Suck up All Americans’ Phone Records

It's Official: NSA Wants to Suck up All Americans’ Phone Records

By Robyn Greene, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:58pm

The NSA has officially stopped sugar coating the fact that it wants to spy on every American.

At yesterday's Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on FISA legislation, Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) asked NSA director, Gen. Keith Alexander, whether…

Anti-LGBT Bill Is About Discrimination, Not Taxes

Anti-LGBT Bill Is About Discrimination, Not Taxes

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:24pm

The so-called "Marriage and Religious Freedom Act," introduced in the House of Representatives today, is a discriminatory wolf in anti-IRS sheep's clothing. Touted as a modest response to the IRS selective targeting affair, the bill is nothing of the…

The 1980s Called. They Want Their Mandatory Minimums Back.

The 1980s Called. They Want Their Mandatory Minimums Back.

By Jesselyn McCurdy, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Sarah Solon, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 2:27pm

Senator Leahy closed this morning’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on mandatory minimums by asking everyone in the room with a loved one serving a mandatory minimum to stand up. The whole audience stood.

This was a poignant display of…