Republican Leaders Sabotaged Efforts for Commonsense Reforms
Washington, D.C. –Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., issued the following statement after the Senate voted to extend unchecked warrantless searches of Americans for 6 years. The vote came after Republican Senate leaders refused to allow votes on bipartisan amendments to protect Americans’ rights, as well as their security.
“Rubber-stamping this awful bill is a dereliction of duty by a Congress that has a responsibility to protect Americans’ freedoms, as well as our country’s security. It is worse than business-as-usual: It explicitly authorizes warrantless searches of law-abiding Americans, us, and allows for the collection of communications entirely among innocent Americans who reference the wrong foreigner, and gives the attorney general unchecked power to decide when the government can use what it finds against us, to pick just three of its many troubling provisions,”Wyden said. “But I’ve been in this fight for a long time. And while today’s vote is a disappointment, the battle to protect Americans from unnecessary government spying isn’t over. Americans across the political spectrum have made clear that liberty and security are not mutually exclusive. Americans won’t stop fighting to end this abuse of power, and neither will I.”
Wyden has been the Senate’s foremost defender of Americans’ rights, and opponent of unnecessary government surveillance. He has pressed for years to reform surveillance programs, from mass surveillance under the Patriot Act to Section 702 of FISA.