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Sen. Schumer: Senate could pass law to protect journalists this year

- The Washington Times - Friday, March 21, 2014

Sen. Chuck Schumer, New York Democrat, said Friday that he has the votes to pass a law in the Senate this year to further protect journalists from having to reveal sources or notes.

"I think the odds of getting a shield law passed, certainly by the Senate, then possibly by the House, are very large. It's very, very likely we'll pass a bill this year," he said at a New York Times "Sources and Secrets" conference.

He said all Democrats and five Republicans support the measure, which would require a judge to determine if a request for information was really in the interest of national security and would also provide more protection for bloggers and freelancers, though it does not go far as to offer them the same protection as traditional reporters being paid by media outlets.

Mr. Schumer said he spoke with Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, about getting some floor time for the bill in an effort to bring more bipartisan bills to the floor and break the gridlock that has long plagued the Senate.

"We have the 60 votes and additionally we are now making an effort, Sen. [Lamar] Alexander and I, are making an effort to put some bipartisan bills on the floor that could actually pass," he said. "I think we're going to get the bill on the floor of the Senate and pass it."

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