(WASHINGTON)— PEN America applauds passage in the U.S. House of a bill that will protect a fundamental press freedom and would be the first of its kind at the federal level.

House bill, H.R.4250, known as the PRESS Act (for Protect Reporters from Excessive Suppression Act) is “integral to protect journalists in reporting freely without fear of retaliation or court-ordered disclosure of information,” said Laura Schroeder, Congressional Affairs lead at PEN America, which has advocated with partner organizations for the legislation for several years.

“We thank Congressman Kiley and Congressman Raskin for their work to shepard this bill forward successfully in the House and we urge an expeditious passage in the Senate,” said Schroeder.

While many states already have such protections, there is no federal law. The bill passed this past Thursday in the House would create a federal shield for journalists so they will not be compelled to reveal their confidential sources at the behest of the government.

About PEN America

PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.

Contact: Suzanne Trimel, [email protected], 201-247-5057