Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) writes:
On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives will take two extremely important votes related to something called #FISA702, which is a section of foreign intelligence surveillance law.
One vote will be on passage of a bill, #S139, that allows the government to apply foreign intelligence surveillance tools to warrantlessly collect, search, and use data on every American. This bill violates the #4thAmendment, which says that our right to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated. The Fourth Amendment requires the government to obtain a particularized warrant based upon probable cause, but S 139 ignores these restrictions.
Before we vote on S 139, we will vote on my amendment to replace the bill with another bill called the #USARIGHTSAct. The USA RIGHTS Act was introduced in the Senate by Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden and Republican Sen. Rand Paul, and it was introduced in the House by Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren and Republican Rep. Ted Poe. I’m offering this bill as an amendment because it protects Americans from warrantless spying, while allowing the government to continue using its surveillance program for foreign intelligence purposes.
More than 40 colleagues have cosponsored my amendment—a list that includes a broad mix of Republicans and Democrats: Lofgren (CA), Poe (TX), Polis (CO), Meadows (NC), Gabbard (HI), Jones (NC), Rohrabacher (CA), Massie (KY), Biggs (AZ), Davidson (OH), Sanford (SC), Pearce (NM), Perry (PA), Mooney (WV), Gosar (AZ), Schweikert (AZ), Gohmert (TX), Yoho (FL), Barton (TX), Brat (VA), Doggett (TX), Blum (IA), Garrett (VA), Griffith (VA), Jordan (OH), Labrador (ID), Blumenauer (OR), Khanna (CA), O’Rourke (TX), Ellison (MN), Rokita (IN), Farenthold (TX), Pocan (WI), Grijalva (AZ), Welch (VT), McClintock (CA), Carbajal (CA), Jackson Lee (TX), Lieu (CA), Bobby Scott (VA), Jayapal (WA), Jody Hice (GA). A typical amendment gets only a few cosponsors at best, but this will be a very consequential vote.
As I said on Tuesday at a committee meeting, it’s our job as a Congress to support and defend the Constitution. We swear an oath to do so. It’s our job to protect the rights of the people we represent. That is the primary purpose of government.
I’m so grateful to the many Democrats and Republicans who are standing up for the American people on this issue. We must do everything we can to pass the USA RIGHTS Act Amendment and to defeat S 139. There’s still time for you to share your opinion with your representative. I’m confident we can add a lot of allies before the vote.
Information is available on the internet. I haven’t provided any links because the bill numbers are muddled by legislative trickery so I am not sure what to trust. It will be interesting to see what happens tomorrow.