02.22.08

Senate And House Judiciary And Intelligence Committee Chairs Continue To Work On FISA, Administration And Congressional Republicans Refuse To Join

WASHINGTON (Friday, Feb. 22, 2008) – Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.), and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Silvestre Reyes (D-Texas), released the following statement after committee staffs met for a second day to discuss Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) reform legislation.

"Today, our staffs met again in what should have been a bipartisan, bicameral meeting with our Republican colleagues’ staffs and Administration officials to continue working through the recess period on important reforms to FISA. Again, the Republicans refused to join the dialogue. And today, neither the Justice Department nor the Director of National Intelligence sent representatives. Today was another missed opportunity. 

"Further politicizing the debate, the Administration today announced that they believe there have been gaps in security since the Protect America Act expired. They cannot have it both ways; if it is true that the expiration of the PAA has caused gaps in intelligence, then it was irresponsible for the President and congressional Republicans to block an extension of the law. Accordingly, they should join Democrats in extending it until we can resolve our differences. 

 

"We continue to be disappointed in the failure of the Administration and Republican members of Congress to participate in these very important discussions, but we remain extremely committed to this process. Americans deserve a carefully thought out bill, and we will continue to work to put America's security first." 

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