McConnell: FISA Reform Critical to National Security

Press Release

By:  Mitch McConnell
Date: July 30, 2007
Location: Washington, DC

‘We cannot fight the War on Terror with one arm tied behind our back'

U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following statement regarding Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell's request for legislative action to modernize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) before Congress adjourns for the August recess:

"There is widespread agreement that we must continue to remain vigilant and do whatever possible within the scope of the law in order to continue to protect our country from terrorist attacks. Unfortunately, the Director of National Intelligence identified significant failings in the law which we must fix in order to ensure our intelligence gathering capabilities remain strong.

"Congress should resolve these archaic restrictions before adjourning in August. The least we can do is provide the stop-gap measures recommended by the DNI to allow for continued monitoring of terrorist activities abroad. We cannot fight the War on Terror with one arm tied behind our back.

"Failure to provide for this critical ability before leaving on recess will only provide al Qaeda an extra month without our nation being able to fully connect the dots and monitor our enemies as they plan attacks on the homeland. We must pass this limited reform now, not in September, not after it's too late."


The Director of National Intelligence sent a letter on Friday, July 27th, to Congressional leaders requesting Congressional action to fix loopholes in the Foreign Intelligence Service Act before the August recess. Director Mike McConnell's request "would make clear that court orders are not necessary to effectively collect foreign intelligence about foreign targets overseas." This is an interim proposal will give the Intelligence Community the tools to continue to protect the U.S., while simultaneously allowing for a dialogue on how best to permanently address the loopholes in the current law.

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