RESTORE ACT GIVES INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY THE TOOLS IT NEEDS TO CONDUCT SURVEILLANCE -- (House of Representatives - October 17, 2007)
(Mr. PALLONE asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute.)
Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, today we will restore some important checks and balances to our Nation's intelligence gathering. In August, the Bush administration pushed through Congress a last-minute bill that gave it the authority to go after Americans without warrants, a direct violation of our Nation's Constitution. The administration's bill included ambiguous language that could be read by some as authorizing warrantless domestic searches.
The RESTORE Act clarifies this language and specifically prohibits warrantless surveillance of Americans and requires a court order before targeting American's phone calls or e-mails. It also includes strong new audit and reporting requirements so that Congress knows whose conversations are being captured. We include all these protections, but we also ensure intelligence officials have the ability to conduct responsible surveillance under the law.
Mr. Speaker, every Member of Congress is committed to strengthening our intelligence community and ensuring they have tools they need to keep our country safe. But the RESTORE Act finds the proper balance and should receive strong bipartisan support today.