|For Immediate Release
May 12, 2011
Contact: Kim Smith Hicks, (202) 225-3951
Committee Votes to Reauthorize PATRIOT Provisions
Washington, D.C. – The House Judiciary Committee today approved legislation to reauthorize expiring provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act. The Committee favorably reported H.R. 1800, the “FISA Sunsets Reauthorization Act of 2011,” by a vote of 22-13. The bill extends for six years the roving wiretaps and business records provisions and makes permanent the lone wolf provision.
Chairman Smith issued the following statement at today’s markup in support of the bill.
Chairman Smith: “The death of Osama bin Laden is a significant victory in America’s efforts to combat terrorism. But even though bin Laden is dead, the terrorist threat we face as a nation is still very much alive.
“The PATRIOT Act has helped keep America safe for nearly a decade. We cannot afford to leave our intelligence community without the reliable resources it needs to dismantle terrorist organizations, identify threats from both groups and individuals, and interrupt terrorist plots of all sizes.”
H.R 1800 reauthorizes the following provisions:
• Roving Wiretaps: Allows intelligence officials, after receiving approval from a federal court, to conduct surveillance on terrorist suspects regardless of how many communication devices they use. Bill extends the provision for six years.
• Business Records: Allows the FBI, after obtaining approval from a federal judge, to access tangible items, including business records, in foreign intelligence, international terrorism and espionage cases. Bill extends the provision for six years.
• Lone Wolf: National security laws allow intelligence gathering on foreign governments, terrorist groups and their agents. But what about a foreign terrorist who either acts alone or cannot be immediately tied to a terrorist organization? The lone wolf definition simply allows our intelligence officials to answer threats from terrorists acting alone. It cannot be used against a U.S. citizen. The bill makes this provision permanent.
For more information about the House Judiciary Committee’s markup on H.R. 1800, please visit: http://judiciary.house.gov/hearings/mark_05122011.html