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


Bernie Sanders
[email protected]
Fax: (202) 225-6790

Ron Paul (R-TX)
[email protected]
No Fax Available

John Conyers (D-MI)
[email protected]
Fax: (202) 225-0072

William Lipinski (D-IL)
Fax: (202) 225-1012

Butch Otter (R-ID)
[email protected]
Fax: (202) 225-3029


Neil Abercrombie
[email protected]
Fax: (202) 225-4580

Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
Fax: (202) 225-6942

Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD)
Fax: (202) 225-2193

Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)
Fax: (202) 225-8941

Rick Boucher (D-VA)
[email protected]
Fax: (202) 225-0442

Corrine Brown (D-FL)
Fax: (202) 225-2256

Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
[email protected]
Fax: (202) 225-2266

Lois Capps (D-CA)
Fax: (202) 225-5632

Michael Capuano (D-MA)
Fax: (202) 225-9322

Julia Carson (D-IN)
[email protected]
Fax: (202) 225-5633

Danny K. Davis (D-IL)
Fax: (202) 225-5641

Peter Defazio (D-OR)
[email protected]
No Fax Available

William D. Delahunt (D-MA)
[email protected]
Fax: (202) 225-5658

Rosa L. DeLauro (D-CT)
Fax: 203-772-2260

Eliot Engel (D-NY)
No fax available.

Anna Eshoo (D-CA)
[email protected]
Fax: (202) 225-8890

Sam Farr (D-CA)
Fax: (202) 225-6791

Jeff Flake (R-AZ)
[email protected]
Fax: (202) 226-4386

Harold E. Ford (D-TN)
Fax: (202) 225-5663

Barney Frank (D-MA)
Fax: (202) 225-0182

Raul Grijalva (D-AZ)
[email protected]
Fax: (202) 225-1541

Maurice Hinchey (D-NY)
Fax: (202) 226-0774

Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL)
[email protected]
No Fax Available

Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX)
Fax: (202) 225-3317

William Jefferson (D-LA)
[email protected]
Fax: (202) 225-1988

Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-OH)
Fax: (202) 225-1339

Dale E. Kildee (D-MI)
Fax: (202) 225-6393

Carolyn C. Kilpatrick (D-MI)
Fax: (202) 225-5730

Dennis Kucinich (D-OH)
Fax: (202) 225-5745

Tom Lantos (D-CA)
No Fax Available

Rick Larsen (D-WA)
[email protected]
Fax: (202) 225-4420

Barbara Lee (D-CA)
Fax: (202) 225-9817

Betty McCollum (D-MN)
Fax: (202) 225-1968

Jim McDermott (D-WA)
Fax: (202) 225-6197

James McGovern (D-MA)
Fax: (202) 225-5759

Donald Manzullo (R-IL)
Fax: (202) 225-5284

George Miller (D-CA)
[email protected]
Fax: (202) 225-5609

Dennis Moore (D-KS)
Fax: (202) 225-2807

Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)
[email protected]
Fax: (202) 225-6923

Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC)

Fax: (202) 225-3002

John Oliver (D-MA)
Fax: (202) 226-1224

Major Owens (D-NY)
[email protected]
Fax: (202) 226-0112

Ed Pastor (D-AZ)
Fax: (202) 225-1655

Collin Peterson (D-MN)
Fax: (202) 225-1593

Nick Rahall (D-WV)
[email protected]
Fax: (202) 225-9061

Martin Sabo (D-MN)
Fax: (202) 225-4886

Janice D. Schakowsky (D-IL)
Fax: (202) 226-6890

Jose Serrano (D-NY)
[email protected]
Fax: (202) 225-6001

Pete Stark (D-CA)
[email protected]
Fax: (202) 226-3805

Edolphus Towns (D-NY)
Fax: (202) 225-1018

Mark Udall (D-CO)
Fax: (202) 226-7840

Tom Udall (D-NM)
Fax: (202) 226-1331

Maxine Waters (D-CA)
Fax: (202) 225-7854

Lynn Woolsey (D-CA)
Fax: (202) 225-5163