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Public Statements

FISA Bill Compromises National Security


Location: Washington, DC

FISA Bill Compromises National Security

The Judiciary Committee today passed the RESTORE Act of 2007 by a vote of 20-14. Ranking Member Lamar Smith (R-TX) issued the following statement regarding the Act:

"The Democrat leadership calls the RESTORE Act of 2007 a compromise," stated Ranking Member Smith. "I could not agree more. The RESTORE Act of 2007 compromises our national security."

"The Act compromises the ability of our intelligence community to conduct effective investigations," continued Smith. "And it compromises the legal protections that allow communications providers to coordinate with law enforcement and intelligence officials on national security investigations."

"Rather than acknowledge the urgent needs of the intelligence community, the RESTORE Act provides unprecedented constitutional protections to terrorists, spies and other enemies overseas," Smith added.

"While the Democrats' proposal provides additional protections to terrorists and spies, it omits any liability protection for telephone companies and other carriers that assisted the government after 9-11," said Smith. "Many federal statutes, including FISA, currently provide litigation protection to communications providers for their compliance with government requests for intelligence information. Failing to provide this protection would result in decreased cooperation with communication providers and an increased risk of bankruptcy for companies who assist law enforcement officials."

"We have an urgent need to update FISA and close the intelligence gap," concluded Smith. "The RESTORE Act ignores well-established practices governing the collection of foreign intelligence information and enhances our enemies' ability to carry out deadly plots. This is just another example of how Democrats are unwilling to enact smart, bipartisan legislation that strengthens national security."

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