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AFP Urges Senators to Vote Against Cloture on FISA Reauthorization

Mar 16, 2020 by AFP

Arlington, VA – Americans for Prosperity today urged Senators to vote against the motion to end debate on H.R. 6172, the FISA Reauthorization Act of 2020. Congress should not rush through a reauthorization of the federal government’s surveillance authorities in the midst of a national pandemic. Instead, the bill should have been heard in committee and open to amendment.  If less than sixty Senators vote in favor of cloture, the motion will fail and allow the Senate to consider amendments to strengthen the legislation’s privacy protections.

Americans for Prosperity Senior Policy Analyst Billy Easley issued the following statement:

“We can keep Americans safe while ensuring that government is accountable to its citizens. The FISA Reauthorization Act must be amended to ensure it protects civil liberties before it receives a vote in the Senate. As it stands, this bill fails to protect civil liberties or respond to the Inspector General’s report regarding the critical errors in the FBI’s Carter Page application before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. There were numerous bipartisan legislative proposals introduced this Congress that would have protected American citizens from law enforcement overreach while allowing the federal government to engage in legitimate surveillance.  H.R. 6172 does not include the important parts of these proposals. Senators should amend the bill so it raises the evidentiary standard for collecting business records under FISA and broadens the circumstances where an amici would be appointed to protect Americans targeted for government surveillance. The American people deserve a system that protects their most basic rights. Until H.R. 6172 is amended to include such protections, the Senate must vote against cloture.”