Today, U.S. Congressman Steve Pearce joined Congressman James Sensenbrenner as an original cosponsor of the USA FREEDOM Act. The legislation would overhaul and restore the USA PATRIOT Act to its original intent by implementing major reforms to significantly rein in the NSA and other agencies from spying on Americans.
“Americans are disgusted—and rightfully so—to know that the FBI and NSA have grossly misused and abused the law to collect phone records and other data,” said Pearce. “This legislation restores and narrows the PATRIOT Act to its original intent: to protect our communities, cities, and nation from terrorists both foreign and domestic. I am proud to support today’s legislation to protect Americans’ liberties and privacy against the reprehensible overreach of the federal government. Americans should never have to fear that their government is spying on them. Today’s legislation responds to the public outcry by putting a stop to the appalling overreach of the federal government.
The USA FREEDOM Act includes a number of key provisions to protect Americans’ privacy and freedoms. It ends “bulk collection” of Americans’ records, and implements and strengthens prohibitions against other targeting of Americans. It creates an “Office of the Special Advocate” to promote privacy interests before the FISA court’s closed proceedings. It also improves transparency and accountability by requiring the government to submit new reports on its data-gathering activities, so that Americans are aware of the government’s actions.
Pearce voted earlier this year for similar legislation introduced as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act.