ADVISORY: Representative Kiley to Lead Debate Today for the PRESS Act on the House Floor
WASHINGTON – Today the U.S. House will consider and Representative Kevin Kiley (R-CA) will lead debate on H.R. 4250, the PRESS Act at 5PM ET/2PM PT (subject to minor change, contact Michael Rauber for updates). This bill was introduced by Rep. Kiley on June 21, 2023 with Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) and companion legislation has been introduced by Senators Lee (R-UT), Durbin (D-IL), and Wyden (D-OR) in the U.S. Senate. This bipartisan legislation ensures reporters cannot be compelled by the government to disclose their confidential sources or research files, and protects their data held by third parties like phone and internet companies from being secretly seized by the government without the opportunity to challenge those demands in court. On July 19, the PRESS Act received unanimous support from the House Judiciary Committee.
Tune in to the debate here.
Background: While 48 states and the District of Columbia have some form of shield law or reporter’s privilege, protections vary significantly, and the state laws do not apply to investigations by federal agencies, such as the DOJ or FBI. Passing this bill mitigates these shortcomings and brings consistency to an important freedom of speech issue. The bill shields journalists’ communications records from the government, with narrow exceptions for terrorism and threat of imminent violence or harm.
You can read the bill text here and a summary here.