Blunt: Majority's Latest FISA Bill No Better than Its Last

Democrats push through bill the Senate will not pass, the president will not sign, and intelligence agents say is unacceptable

WASHINGTON, March 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- House Republican Whip Roy Blunt (Mo.) issued the following statement today after all but 13 Democrats endorsed their leadership's latest attempt to push through a surveillance bill the Senate will not pass, the president will not sign, and the U.S. intelligence community has deemed unacceptable:

"Even for a Congress with a proven record of over-reaching, the majority's decision to play politics with critical terrorist surveillance legislation is deeply disappointing. And as they force through another ill-fated and poorly conceived FISA bill today, it's worth wondering how many intelligence agents would have to testify that vital information is being lost before Democrats hear their message, and finally take up the bipartisan Senate-passed bill.

"Nearly a year has passed since the director of national intelligence identified the need to modernize our outdated surveillance laws, and asked Congress to work with him on finding a workable solution. The Senate has done its part, working with the administration to produce a bill that balances national security with protecting individual rights. But until the House decides to follow suit, our intelligence capabilities will continue to dim -- until our agents reach the point where they find themselves completely in the dark.

"It's my sincere hope the two-week Easter recess imparts in Democrats perspective on this issue they currently do not have. Maybe then they'll decide to bring forth the bipartisan Senate bill for passage -- legislation that arms our intelligence agents with the tools they need to keep us safe, while ensuring the firms that aided our country in the days following September 11th aren't rewarded for their patriotism with a lawsuit."

SOURCE House Republican Whip Roy Blunt