Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-ID) announced today that he is cosponsoring a landmark bill introduced this week by Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) and Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), Ranking Member on the House Judiciary Committee, to impose reasonable limits on the National Security Agency (NSA)'s massive government surveillance program, protecting innocent Americans from having their private information needlessly swept into a government database where it could be subject to abuse.
Rep. Labrador joins a coalition of 35 Members of Congress who have signed onto H.R. 2399, the Limiting Internet and Blanket Electronic Review of Telecommunications and Email (LIBERT-E) Act. This bill would restrict the federal government's ability under the Patriot Act to collect information on Americans who are not connected to an ongoing investigation. The bill also requires that secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court opinions be made available to Congress and summaries of the opinions be made available to the public.
"The Patriot Act is being used in ways that violate our most basic Constitutional freedoms, and were never intended by the authors of the Patriot Act itself," said Rep. Labrador, a member of the House Judiciary Committee. "For the same reason the American people are outraged by the IRS scandals, they are equally concerned by what the NSA is doing - because the IRS scandal shows that governments have a tendency of abusing their powers and ruining lives. While it's reasonable that the government must engage in secret operations from time to time, the Patriot Act -- as it's currently practiced -- goes too far. We can strike a better balance between liberty and security, protecting the innocent while keeping America safe. That's what this bill does, and I'm proud to support it."