Key Vote YES on Senate Amendments to The Reforming Intelligence and Securing America Act, H.R. 7888

On behalf of our activist community, I urge you to contact your Senator and ask him or her to vote YES on the Senate amendments to the Reforming Intelligence and Securing America Act, H.R. 7888. The base text of the Reforming Intelligence and Securing America Act is reform in name only. As it came to the Senate from the House of Representatives, unamended, it includes massive expansions of surveillance authority.  If these amendments are adopted, we will withdraw our previous key vote against RISAA. If no amendments are adopted, we will keynote NO against the original text, as we did in the House for House Roll Call Vote #119.

Wyden/Lummis amendment #1820 to strike ECSP provision – Vote “YES” 

The Electronic Service Communications Provider amendment added in the House provides for a massive expansion of FISA Authority. It can accurately be described as Patriot Act 2.0 and the largest expansion of domestic surveillance since the adoption of The Patriot Act. This expansion turns practically anyone who manages an internet connection into an agent of the surveillance state. There are only a few limited exceptions – restaurants/cafes, hotels, and libraries. For more detailed information, please view this fact sheet from The Brennan Center for Justice.

Durbin/Cramer amendment to require a warrant to access Americans’ communications obtained under Section 702 – Vote “YES”

While it is true that a warrant is required to investigate a US person, it is not true that a warrant is required to run a US Person query in the 702 data set. This amendment ensures that any query or search into the 702 databases on a US person will require a warrant. This is to curtail the 200,000 warrantless searches that the FBI performed for US Person data. For more information, please see this resource from The Brennan Center for Justice.

Lee amendment #1826 to replace RISAA’s weakening of FISA Court amici with Lee-Leahy reforms – Vote “YES”

The Lee amendment reverses a weakening of the oversight in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. RISSA limited the ability for when and how an Amici can interact with the court. The Senate should replace these harmful measures with the “Lee-Leahy amendment,” a set of reforms that the Senate passed in 2020 by a vote of 77-19. These reforms would expand the categories of cases in which amici participate, ensure that amici have sufficient access to the materials they need to effectively advocate, and give amici the right to seek review of FISA Court decisions in FISA’s appellate courts. For more information, please review this overview from the Brennan Center for Justice.

Paul amendment #1829 to close the data broker loophole – Vote “YES”

This amendment includes the text from The Fourth Amendment Is Not for Sale Act, H.R. 4639, which passed the House and we issued a Key Vote Yes. We fully support this amendment, and it intends to close the data broker loophole. More information can be found from the Brennan Center for Justice here.

Hirono amendment #1831 to strike so-called “travel vetting” provision – Vote “YES”

Another significant expansion of FISA added in the House was allowing the use of Section 702 data to vet travelers and visa applicants entering the country. FISA broadly and Section 702 specifically were never meant to be immigration tools. The language in the House amendment requires searches of the 702 database even if other extensive immigration tools yield no reason for suspicion. 

FreedomWorks will count the vote on the Senate amendments to the Reforming Intelligence and Securing America Act, H.R. 7888, when calculating our Scorecard for 2024 and reserves the right to score and weigh any related votes. The scorecard is used to determine eligibility for the FreedomFighter Award, which recognizes Members of the House and Senate who consistently vote to support economic freedom and individual liberty.

Adam Brandon
President, FreedomWorks