Statement by Assistant AG Stephen E. Boyd on the House of Representatives’ review of legislation to re-authorize the USA Freedom Act
(STL.News) – Deputy Attorney General Stephen E. Boyd issued the following statement:
“The ministry worked closely with House leaders on both sides of the aisle to draft legislation to re-authorize three national security authorities in the USA Freedom Act while imposing reforms on other aspects of FISA designed to resolve issues identified by the DOJ Inspector General. Although this legislation was approved with a large bipartisan majority in the House, the Senate subsequently made significant changes that the ministry opposed because they would unacceptably compromise our ability to prosecute terrorists and spies. We have proposed specific fixes to the most significant issues created by the changes made by the Senate. Instead of addressing these issues, the House is now poised to further amend the legislation in a way that will weaken national security tools while doing nothing to tackle the abuses identified by the DOJ Inspector General.
As a result, the department opposes the bill passed by the Senate in its current form and also opposes the Lofgren Amendment in the House. Given the cumulative negative effect of these legislative changes on the Department’s ability to identify and track terrorists and spies, the Department must oppose legislation currently before the House. If passed, the attorney general would recommend that the president veto the legislation. “
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