McConnell on FISA: The Senate Should Not Wait to Act
‘I sincerely hope that even our colleagues who may wish to vote against the House bill will not make us prolong this brief lapse in authorities, and that we will be able to get these tools back online this week.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding FISA:
“Late last night, several critical authorities that law enforcement uses to keep Americans safe lapsed into expiration.
“Barring Senate action, these important tools, which help protect the homeland from terrorists and counter foreign intelligence activities on U.S. soil, will remain offline.
“Fortunately, in the weeks leading up to this deadline, the Attorney General engaged in extensive bipartisan talks with members of the House of Representatives on both parties to reach a solution. The resulting legislation, which the House passed last week by large margins within each party, strikes a key balance. It reauthorizes the tools which our national security requires, while also imposing a number of new reforms which basic accountability demands.
“We can’t let the relative success of these tools at preserving the safety and security of our nation mislead us to believe they are unnecessary. It’s just the opposite.
“Terrorist organizations still search constantly for opportunities to strike on American soil. Hostile foreign intelligence services, whether Chinese, Russian, or Iranian, still seek to conduct operations within our borders, to recruit assets and agents among our population.
“These threats will not wait around if the United States delays restocking our toolbox. And so the Senate should not wait to act.
“I sincerely hope that even our colleagues who may wish to vote against the House bill will not make us prolong this brief lapse in authorities, and that we will be able to get these tools back online this week.”
Related Issues: National Security, War on Terror, Homeland Security, Law Enforcement