The House has approved an amendment that could prevent journalists from being forced to reveal their sources.
On Thursday night, Congressman Alan Grayson introduced legislation that would prohibit the Department of Justice from being able to use funds to force reporters into revealing confidential sources or information. Grayson's amendment was added to the "Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act" and would open the doors for the first Federal shield law in the United States. The room erupted with applause when the legislation was passed with a 225-183 vote.
Grayson told the room that it is "completely incongruous" to claim that the US has freedom of the press while threatening to place journalists in jail over sources. He said that such an amendment is long overdue and demanded that a vote take place that night.
"This is something that should have been handled perhaps years, if not decades ago," he said. "It falls upon us tonight, at this late hour, to try to handle it ourselves."
The proposal corresponds to the shield law that already exists in 49 states but not at the Federal level.
Take a look at the amendment below: