Walorski Statement on Vote to Reauthorize Key National Security Tool
House Passes Six-Year Extension of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Program
WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today released the following statement after the House passed legislation to reauthorize and reform a critical counterterrorism tool:
“America faces serious and constant threats from foreign terrorists determined to carry out attacks on our homeland and abroad. Having served on the House Armed Services Committee, I know the severity of these threats and the importance of giving our intelligence and law enforcement community the tools they need to detect and disrupt terrorist plots.
“As President Trump and his national security team have made clear, allowing one of our most critical national security tools to lapse – or crippling it with unreasonable restrictions – would put American lives at risk.
“This bill ensures our intelligence agencies can continue electronic surveillance of foreign terrorist suspects on foreign soil while adding safeguards to better protect Americans’ privacy.”
The House passed S. 139, the FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act of 2017, with Congresswoman Walorski’s support, by a vote of 256 to 164. The bill would renew section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act for six years and make key reforms to strengthen privacy protections for Americans.
Section 702 authorizes intelligence agencies to target the communications of foreign nationals located outside the U.S. in order to collect intelligence on terrorists and other foreign adversaries. It does not authorize surveillance targeting Americans, which requires an individual court order based on probable cause. Section 702 authority is set to expire after January 19, 2018.
The bill includes additional safeguards to protect Americans’ privacy, including requiring the FBI, in criminal cases unrelated to national security, to obtain a warrant in order to view Americans’ communications collected incidentally under section 702.
Walorski voted against an amendment, which was defeated by a vote of 183 to 233, that would have severely weakened this national security tool. The Trump administration warned the amendment would have restored firewalls between intelligence and law enforcement that limited information-sharing before the 9/11 attacks and were later removed.
Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.