CONGRESSMAN JIM HIMES

Representing the 4th District of Connecticut

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Himes, House Intelligence Committee Democrats Issue Statement on USA Freedom Act Urging Senate to Act

May 21, 2015
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Jim Himes (CT-4) and Democratic Members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) – Ranking Member Adam Schiff (D-CA), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Terri Sewell (D-AL), Andre Carson (D-IN), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Mike Quigley (D-IL), Eric Swalwell (D-CA) and Patrick Murphy (D-FL) – issued the following statement:

“Without action by the Senate this week to approve the USA FREEDOM Act, Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act will expire and we will lose the opportunity to gain lasting reforms to the FISA Court and the transparency of our surveillance programs – a result benefiting neither our citizen's privacy nor our nation's security. We will also lose other important capabilities provided by the expiring authorities that have nothing to do with bulk collection. This is the least desirable outcome, especially when an acceptable alternative is available already.

“Senate inaction will forfeit Congress's best chances of reforming the FISA Court by putting in place an adversarial process with a privacy advocate and sending important opinions for declassification review and eventual public disclosure.

“Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee worked in good faith with our Republican counterparts, in addition to the House Judiciary Committee, to come to a compromise that benefits everyone and makes real reforms. With the House set to recess in a few short hours the only path forward is to pass the USA FREEDOM Act.”