WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) issued the following statement on news that the Department of Justice has been monitoring Associated Press phone lines, including a line in the press gallery of the U.S. House of Representatives:
"The press has an incredibly important role to play in a free society by helping to hold our government accountable to the American people, and intimidation like this can have a chilling effect on their ability to do their jobs," said Rep. Pascrell. "These allegations, if proven to be true, cast an incredibly dark cloud over this Administration and its commitment to one of our most cherished American values: freedom of the press.
"Then Senator Obama understood this when he cosponsored legislation in 2007 that would have prohibited our government from subpoenaing the phone records of members of the press. Unfortunately that bill was filibustered in the Senate, and I call on Speaker Boehner to immediately allow us to vote on similar legislation so this or any future Administration cannot similarly attack the civil liberties we all hold dear."