Ryan Calls House Leadership Failure to Address FISA Reform an "Inexcusable Choice"
Wisconsin's First District Congressman Paul Ryan spoke out for the need for a long-term fix to close the gaps in America's intelligence laws. On Tuesday, the Senate, in a vote of 68-29, passed the FISA Amendments Act of 2007. This is a bi-partisan bill updating the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) that would provide American intelligence community the tools and flexibility needed to quickly respond to terrorist threats. Rather than voting on the Senate passed legislation, the Democratic Leadership in the House of Representatives has elected to allow the updates to FISA to expire. Congressman Ryan issued the following statement in response to House Democratic Leadership's refusal to allow a vote on the Senate bill:
"I am extremely disappointed that the House Democratic leadership has chosen to allow the Protect America Act to expire rather than take the necessary steps to safeguard America. This legislation offers a badly needed modernization of FISA, and without it, the ability of our intelligence community to gather information will be significantly weakened. It is an inexcusable choice that could have disastrous consequences. By refusing to allow a vote, Speaker Pelosi is ignoring the will of Congress. It seems plain to me that, at the very least, our national security is far too important to allow politics to circumvent good policy," Ryan said.
"Earlier this week, the Senate passed a bipartisan update to FISA that contains critical tools that protect our national security and help keep us safe at home. I believe that my colleagues in the House are capable of the same spirit of cooperation. It is absolutely essential that we update FISA for the long-term because, plain and simple, the jihadists will not rest. We must utilize each tool at our disposal to combat them at every turn, and match their resolve with equal measure."