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Wenstrup Reforms included in FISA Reauthorization

Washington, March 11, 2020 Contact: Christopher Krepich (202-225-3164)
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WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, Congressman Brad Wenstrup (OH-02) voted for H.R. 6172, the USA FREEDOM Reauthorization, which reforms and reauthorizes key provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

“As an Iraq War veteran and member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, I am committed to maintaining our nation’s intelligence-gathering capabilities while still protecting Americans’ civil liberties,” said Congressman Wenstrup.

“This bill advances those goals by reauthorizing important intelligence programs and making significant reforms to put safeguards in the FISA Court (FISC) process. It is designed to stop abuses of authority, demand accountability in the court, and protect U.S. citizens’ civil rights. Notably, the bill includes provisions from my legislation with Congressman Stewart that would incentivize FISA judges and DOJ officials to be more thorough in their proceedings and interactions.

“I commend Leader McCarthy, Ranking Member Nunes, and Ranking Member Jordan for negotiating an agreement that members on both sides of the aisle could support.”

Reauthorizations

H.R. 6172 reauthorizes three provisions critical to national security efforts that counter terrorism and nefarious adversaries, allowing the FBI, with court approval, to:

·         Seek business records to stop known or suspected terrorists.

·         Continue to surveil “lone wolf’ terrorists without links to a foreign power.

·         Surveil all communications devices of potential terrorist instead of just a single phone number, also known as a “roving wiretap.”

Key Reform

H.R. 6172 contains a provision from Representatives Wenstrup and Stewart’s FISA Improvements Act, which would require a record be kept of all interactions between the Department of Justice and the FISC as well as transcripts of all FISC proceedings. This would incentivize FISC judges and DOJ officials to be thorough when considering a surveillance application.

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