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Pence Calls on Republican Colleagues To Support Federal Shield Law

Shield Law backer Mike Pence (R-Ind.) called on his Republican colleagues Tuesday to support a federal shield law.

In a letter signed by a trio of other Republican legislators, Pence urged a 'yes' vote on the bill, saying, "If potential sources, including government and corporate whistleblowers, fear that reporters will be forced to reveal their identities, these sources will not come forward, and the public will lose the ability to hold the government and corporations accountable for wrongdoing. Be it the mistreatment of soldiers at Walter Reed Medical Center, safety problems at nuclear power plants or the massive fraud at Enron, groundbreaking stories would have remained unknown both to the public and to Congress without information from confidential sources."

The Free Flow Of Information Act of 2009, which he and Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA) reintroduced last month, is being marked up in the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday and Pence wants to make sure committee Republicans were on board.

The bill's incarnation in the last Congress--the latest version is identical--ran into opposition from some Republicans, including the President, over issues of national security and Justice Department concerns that the bill "will essentially do more to protect leakers than it does to protect journalists."

Also signing on to the letter were Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Howard Coble (R-NC).