Washington, DC—Representatives Jamie Raskin (MD-08) and Kevin Kiley (CA-03) celebrated the unanimous House passage of their bipartisan Protect Reporters from Exploitative State Spying (PRESS) Act. 

“House passage of the PRESS Act in a unanimous vote moves America closer to establishing our first federal press shield law ever. The PRESS Act will greatly strengthen the meaning of the constitutional promise of press freedom,” said Rep. Raskin. “This awesome bipartisan vote at a time of party polarization underscores the binding power and universal appeal of freedom of the press as a leading constitutional principle. This is a significant victory for the people and our First Amendment values.”

“The PRESS Act will finally create a federal statutory privilege to protect journalists from being compelled to reveal confidential sources and to prevent federal law enforcement from abusing subpoena power,” continued Rep. Raskin. “No longer will reporters have to worry that under a future repressive administration federal law enforcement agencies might secretly subpoena their emails and phone records even though journalists depend on confidentiality to keep the American public informed.”

“I’m delighted to share this exciting legislative victory with my colleague—and my former law student—Congressman Kevin Kiley of California. He did a great job explaining this legislation to colleagues. Our partnership demonstrates that press freedom remains a fundamental bipartisan commitment,” said Rep. Raskin.

“Liberty depends on the freedom of the press. Journalists are often the first to expose government fraud, waste, abuse and encroachments on personal freedoms. A critical aspect of the freedom of the press is the pursuit of truth without government entanglements or intimidation. Administrations from both political parties have unjustly targeted journalists and used compulsory process to obtain information from them about their sources. Most states have protected journalists from such interference, and it is past time for Congress to do so as well,” said Rep. Kiley.