McConnell Statement on Critical Foreign Surveillance Legislation

Mitch McConnell

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) released the following statement regarding Senate consideration of the House-passed Title VII of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA):

“Earlier today, the House of Representatives voted to approve a reauthorization of one of our nation’s most important national security tools: Title VII of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The Senate will now consider it. Section 702 is of particular importance as it gives our national security community and warfighters irreplaceable intelligence in waging the war on terror.

“The intelligence community and the Justice Department depend on these vital authorities to protect the homeland and keep Americans safe. There is a reason that the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence called reauthorization of 702 their ‘top legislative priority.’ It is simple: this program saves American lives.

“Republicans and Democrats agree that we must not deprive the men and women who protect our country of this important tool. Five years ago, a reauthorization of Section 702 passed the Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support. Al Qaeda, ISIL and associated terror groups remain intent on striking our people, and those serving us overseas. I look forward to renewing the bipartisan consensus on this issue now that the time has come to approve a new extension.”

“With each day that passes since this nation was attacked on September 11th, 2001 it seems that the concern over terrorism has waned. That is in part due to the success of our defense and intelligence community in preventing another attack. And they rely upon section 702 to accomplish that mission. But as we know, Al Qaeda, ISIL and associated terror groups remain intent on striking our people, and those serving us overseas.”

Background: The Leader filed cloture on the House-passed measure. The Senate will have a cloture vote when it returns next week.

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