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Public Statements

FISA Amendments Act Reauthorization Act of 2012

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. THOMPSON of California. I thank the chairman for yielding time to me.

Mr. Speaker, I'm one of those Democrats that the ranking member talked about that would prefer a 3-year extension of this measure, but I'm going to vote for H.R. 5949, the FISA Amendments Act Reauthorization Act of 2012, also known as the FAA. I support this legislation because it protects our security, preserves our freedom, and has proven to respect our civil liberties in the process.

In 2008, many of us were rightly concerned about this program being created and used as a back door for collecting information on law-abiding Americans. I voted against the FAA in 2008, in part because of these civil liberty concerns. However, as a member of the House Intelligence Committee, I believe the abuses that we feared have just not materialized.

But let me be clear, and this and future administrations are being given fair warning. My colleagues and I on the House Intelligence Committee will continue to receive reports on FISA information collection. These reports must continue to be detailed and specific. If there are any abuses or problems stemming from the application of this program, I'm certain that this Congress will move swiftly to correct them. So far, the application of the FAA has gained our trust, but we will continue to verify how the FAA is being used. Trust, but verify.

Mr. Speaker, the FAA provides the tools we need to collect vital counterterrorism information in foreign intelligence. I will vote in favor of H.R. 5949, the FISA Amendments Act.

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