Thompson, Fitzpatrick Sponsor New Bill that Reins in NSA
Yet another bill aimed at restricting the powers of NSA has been introduced to Congress.
The bill, cosponsored by Glenn Thompson (R-Centre) and Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks), calls for ending the bulk collection of communication records, reforming the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Court, forcing the FISC to be more accountable to Congress and making the NSA more transparent.
Rep. Thompson issued a press release over the weekend that promoted the importance of this legislation.
“There is a just and legal way to go about preventing terrorism, without violating our individual privacies,” Thompson said. “Congress must use its powers to provide oversight of the NSA and all surveillance activities. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House and Senate to advance these commonsense improvements and vital protections to our civil liberties.”
The USA FREEDOM Act was introduced in late October and now sits in the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees. Based on the wide bipartisan support, it has a reasonable chance of making it to the floor. Senator Leahy (D-VT) introduced companion legislation, S. 1599, to the Senate.
The bill has support from both sides of the aisle, with 44 Republican sponsors, and 42 Democratic sponsors. Similar attempts were made over the past few months that also garnered bipartisan support but eventually failed to pass or even get a vote.
One of those attempts was lead by Rep. Fitzpatrick, who introduced legislation in August that could cut funding to the NSA and force the agency to have more cause before collecting data. The bill gained little traction.