“These amendments only serve to weaken the House-passed bill and postpone timely enactment of legislation that responsibly protects national security while enhancing civil liberty protections.”
Washington, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers (D-Mich.), Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), and Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) issued the following joint statement on proposed Senate amendments to the USA Freedom Act (H.R. 2048):
“Last night the United States Senate intentionally allowed three provisions of the USA Patriot Act to expire. Every minute spent delaying passage of the widely-supported, bipartisan USA Freedom Act is a minute lost in preventing the next terrorist plot and providing greater civil liberties protections to the American people. The Senate has known for months that these provisions were set to expire last night and yet chose intransigence and procrastination over responsible legislating. The expiration of these authorities affects more than just the NSA bulk collection program. It eliminates tools routinely used by the FBI to investigate domestic terror plots.
“The proposed amendments in the Senate impose a data retention notification requirement on American telecommunication providers, give the Director of National Intelligence – and not Congress – the authority to decide whether to end bulk collection, unnecessarily extend the current bulk collection program for a year, and water-down the House-passed FISA Court amicus provision. These amendments only serve to weaken the House-passed bill and postpone timely enactment of legislation that responsibly protects national security while enhancing civil liberty protections.
“The House is not likely to accept the changes proposed by Senator McConnell. Section 215 has already expired. These amendments will likely make that sunset permanent. The Senate must act quickly to pass the USA Freedom Act without amendment.”
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