10:36 PM EDT

Frank R. Wolf, R-VA 10th

Mr. WOLF. I rise in opposition to the amendment. It is significant change. The authorizers should be looking at this. This is not something to put on an appropriation bill at 10:35 at night.

I listened to the gentleman, and a lot of what he said, I seem to agree with, but you have to really look at this and have hearings, and for those reasons, I urge a ``no'' vote.

10:36 PM EDT

Frank R. Wolf, R-VA 10th

Mr. WOLF. I rise in opposition to the amendment. It is significant change. The authorizers should be looking at this. This is not something to put on an appropriation bill at 10:35 at night.

I listened to the gentleman, and a lot of what he said, I seem to agree with, but you have to really look at this and have hearings, and for those reasons, I urge a ``no'' vote.

10:36 PM EDT

Bob Goodlatte, R-VA 6th

Mr. GOODLATTE. I thank the gentleman for yielding. I share the gentleman from Florida's interest and support for shield laws as well, but I don't believe this has been carefully vetted. There are implications here about exactly who has the right to make the determination about whether or not funds could or could not be used. The way the language reads suggests that maybe the reporter would have that right, rather than a court.

To me, this is not the best way to go about doing this. We will continue to work on shield law legislation in the House Judiciary Committee, which has passed out forms of shield law in the past, and we will continue to work on it.

I must oppose this amendment in these circumstances. I don't think this is the right place to legislate something as complicated as this issue.

10:36 PM EDT

Bob Goodlatte, R-VA 6th

Mr. GOODLATTE. I thank the gentleman for yielding. I share the gentleman from Florida's interest and support for shield laws as well, but I don't believe this has been carefully vetted. There are implications here about exactly who has the right to make the determination about whether or not funds could or could not be used. The way the language reads suggests that maybe the reporter would have that right, rather than a court.

To me, this is not the best way to go about doing this. We will continue to work on shield law legislation in the House Judiciary Committee, which has passed out forms of shield law in the past, and we will continue to work on it.

I must oppose this amendment in these circumstances. I don't think this is the right place to legislate something as complicated as this issue.

10:37 PM EDT

Chaka Fattah, D-PA 2nd

Mr. FATTAH. Without claiming my own time, I just want to support the thrust of this proposed amendment, which is that we should provide a shield law. The idea that, in 2005, a reporter was jailed for over 85 days is wrong, and we do want to have the freedom.

We have a constitutional responsibility to protect the freedom of press, but I agree with the chairman, we don't want to do it on an appropriations bill at 10:30 at night. We want to make sure it is clear what we are doing, so I oppose the amendment under those circumstances.

I thank the gentleman for yielding me this time.

10:37 PM EDT

Chaka Fattah, D-PA 2nd

Mr. FATTAH. Without claiming my own time, I just want to support the thrust of this proposed amendment, which is that we should provide a shield law. The idea that, in 2005, a reporter was jailed for over 85 days is wrong, and we do want to have the freedom.

We have a constitutional responsibility to protect the freedom of press, but I agree with the chairman, we don't want to do it on an appropriations bill at 10:30 at night. We want to make sure it is clear what we are doing, so I oppose the amendment under those circumstances.

I thank the gentleman for yielding me this time.

10:38 PM EDT

Alan M. Grayson, D-FL 9th

Mr. GRAYSON. Mr. Chairman, I want to point out that the Supreme Court decision that we are talking about here was decided in 1972. There have already been hearings. There has been plenty of draft legislation. It is hard enough to get anything voted on around here. It is time to vote on this.

After 42 years since the Supreme Court first addressed this, we don't have this body on record saying whether or not there should be a Federal shield law. I understand the reservations that have been expressed, but the time is now.

The reporters in this country have waited long enough. It is time to be fair and show fealty to the First Amendment and to pass this amendment tonight.

I yield back the balance of my time.

The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Grayson).

The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the noes appeared to have it.

10:38 PM EDT

Alan M. Grayson, D-FL 9th

Mr. GRAYSON. Mr. Chairman, I want to point out that the Supreme Court decision that we are talking about here was decided in 1972. There have already been hearings. There has been plenty of draft legislation. It is hard enough to get anything voted on around here. It is time to vote on this.

After 42 years since the Supreme Court first addressed this, we don't have this body on record saying whether or not there should be a Federal shield law. I understand the reservations that have been expressed, but the time is now.

The reporters in this country have waited long enough. It is time to be fair and show fealty to the First Amendment and to pass this amendment tonight.

I yield back the balance of my time.

The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Grayson).

The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the noes appeared to have it.

10:38 PM EDT

Alan M. Grayson, D-FL 9th

Mr. GRAYSON. Mr. Chairman, I want to point out that the Supreme Court decision that we are talking about here was decided in 1972. There have already been hearings. There has been plenty of draft legislation. It is hard enough to get anything voted on around here. It is time to vote on this.

After 42 years since the Supreme Court first addressed this, we don't have this body on record saying whether or not there should be a Federal shield law. I understand the reservations that have been expressed, but the time is now.

The reporters in this country have waited long enough. It is time to be fair and show fealty to the First Amendment and to pass this amendment tonight.

I yield back the balance of my time.

The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Grayson).

The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the noes appeared to have it.