Rep. Zoe Lofgren Floor Statement on Opposing the USA FREEDOM Act
May 22, 2014
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA-19), a senior Member of the House Judiciary Committee representing part of Silicon Valley, spoke on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives on her opposition to H.R. 3361, the USA FREEDOM Act (video is also available here):
"Mr. Speaker, I certainly respect the role that Mr. Sensenbrenner (Rep. James Sensenbrenner, WI-5) has played in this, and honor him and his wife Cheryl for their commitment to freedom.
"But I must oppose the Freedom Act that is on the floor today. This is not the bill that was reported out of the Judiciary Committee unanimously. I voted for that bill, not because it was perfect, but because it was a step in the right direction.
"After the bill was reported out, changes were made without the knowledge of the committee members, and I think the result is a bill that actually will not end bulk collections, regretfully. As Mr. Scott (Rep. Robert ‘Bobby' Scott, VA-3) has said, our job is not to trust but to codify. And if you take a look at the selection changes made in the bill it would allow for bulk collection should the NSA do so.
"Further, I would note, that the transparency provisions have also been weakened. The 702 section would no longer be reportable by companies who receive orders. And instead of the Attorney General noting decisions that change the law, it is now sent over the Director of National Intelligence.
"Regrettably, we have learned that if we leave any ambiguity in the law, the intelligence agencies run a truck right through that ambiguity. I think that's why all of the civil liberties groups have withdrawn their support from this bill. The ACLU, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, CDT, Open Technology. I would add FreedomWorks and other libertarian groups have also pulled their support. Companies like Facebook and Google have also pulled their support of the bill.
"Now, I hope that we will defeat this bill and come back together—because we do work together well here in the Judiciary Committee—and fix the problems that were created, I think at the insistence of the Administration, and give honor to Mr. Sensenbrenner's original bill that had 151 Members cosponsoring it."
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Click here for video of Rep. Lofgren's remarks.