Ms. KLOBUCHAR. Mr. President, on July 19, the Judiciary Committee considered legislation to reauthorize the title VII provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. These surveillance authorities are vital to our national security, and it is imperative that they be reauthorized before they expire at the end of this year. The reauthorization bill is narrow in scope, and many amendments were proposed at the committee markup that had little or nothing to do with the reauthorization of FISA. As I stated during the markup, I may have supported or been open to working out a compromise on several of the amendments in other contexts. However, I voted in opposition to all of the extraneous amendments offered because I felt their adoption would threaten the timely passage of the FISA reauthorization bill. That is not a risk I was willing to take.
In particular, as for Senator Kyl's amendment to criminalize certain behavior that would reward past terrorist acts and Senator Grassley's amendment to impose the death penalty on terrorists who use weapons of mass destruction, I want to make clear that I strongly oppose the funding of terrorism and I believe that terrorists should be subject to the death penalty. I support the objectives of both of these amendments, but I was concerned that their adoption by the committee could delay or prevent passage of the FISA reauthorization bill. I am prepared to work with Senator Kyl and Senator Grassley to address these important issues at a more appropriate time going forward.
I hope that these amendments and others are raised in the appropriate context so they can be adequately addressed.