Carter Statement On Democrats' Flawed FISA Legislation
U.S. Congressman John Carter (TX-31), House Republican Conference Secretary, issued the following statement after senior House Democrats unveiled a rewrite to our foreign intelligence surveillance laws. The bill, scheduled to sunset in 2009, requires the Intelligence Community to obtain FISA court orders for foreign communications of persons reasonably believed to be outside the United States. Since it was enacted in 1978, FISA has never required the government to acquire court orders for such communications.
"We voted in August to temporarily close the dangerous terrorist loophole and update the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) after Democratic leaders delayed the critical measure for months.
"The original legislation was good policy endorsed by our nation's top intelligence officer. Now, the Democrats have put forth a proposal that does nothing to address the issue at hand, but instead creates more red tape and constructs more barriers for our intelligence community.
"I am fully prepared to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support FISA legislation that closes the terrorist loophole and gives our intelligence community the tools they need to keep Americans safe. Rather than create a bureaucratic nightmare that does nothing to stop our enemies, Congress should be working together to ensure our safety."