tv House Floor Debate on 2014--NSA CSPAN July 27, 2013 11:50am-12:36pm EDT
on c-span's "q & a." houset, some of the debate on two amendments for the defense spending bill that deals with nsa data collection programs. this is about 40 minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. the amendment i offer this evening clarifies and confirms the scope of two programs that mr. snowden illegally exposed while sitting in a hotel room in communist china. under section 702, no u.s. citizen in the u.s. can be targeted. i say again, no u.s. person to be targeted in any way by the united states government. while their other authorities, the u.s. person may be subject to an investigation, the u.s. government may not do so under section 702. that is this amendment. the second part of the amendment clarifies section 215, known as
the section 501 of fisa. that is no record of the actual conversation of the content that is recorded or collected by the national security agency. the nsa has not been acting outside of its authority. the metadata program is carefully designed with program layers of oversight by all three branches of government. this is precisely where our government ought to operate. with input from article one, and article two and article three of the united states constitution. it is our duty to discuss the legal balance. we shouldn't be misleading the american people into thinking the nsa has been acting illegally. there is no program in the united states government that is as carefully monitored and overseen as this program is.
thise extent that some in chamber wish to review or provide more protections, we should proceed through debated legislative process, so the full implications for security are clearly understood. i reserve the balance of my time. >> the gentleman reserves. for what purpose does the gentleman from indiana rise? >> to claim the opposing time. >> does the gentleman rise in opposition? >> i rise to claim the time. >> is the gentleman opposed? >> i am not opposed to the amendment. >> does the gentleman from new york seek?
>> i claim time in opposition. >> i had a feeling. [laughter] >> the gentleman from indiana is recognized to claim the time in opposition. >> as a work in progress, i'll recommend the gentleman from new york for 1.5 minutes. >> the gentleman is recognized for 1.5 minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. this amendment has been described and offered as an alternative to the amash amendment that we will consider next. it is not. this amendment restates the existing ban on the intentional targeting of the united states presence in section 702. it has the obama administration ban on click in the conference of the communications of u.s. persons under section 715.
i agree with this prohibition. but it has nothing to do with the current misuse of section 215 to engage in the suspicious collection of telephone records. the dragnet section reveals call information, including phone numbers, called duration, but not the content. therefore, this amendment would have no impact whatsoever on this misuse of section 215. metadata reveals highly personal information, including when and how often calls the doctor, a journalist, or a local tea party affiliates. by tracing the pattern of calls, the government can take details from anyone's associations and activities. congress never authorized this type of unchecked surveillance of our citizens. is this problem, the indiscriminate collection of metadata under section 215, that we need to fix right now. the amendment restores the required relationship between the collection of records, and persons being investigated. the amash amendment does not fix the problem with 215.
the other amendment does. however you vote, it is imperative that we also vote in favor of the men because this amendment, doing no harm, has not solve the problems that congress has a truculent in with the respect of the misuse of 215 of the patriot act in a. >> the gentleman from kansas. >> the gentleman reserves. >> from indiana? yieldould be happy to time to the gentleman from texas, who makes an inquiry as to how much time he would like
to consume. theuld be happy to give gentleman three minutes. >> the gentleman from texas is recognized for three minutes. >> i thank the gentleman from indiana from yielding. i think the german from and this for offering this amendment because it helps focus on what concerns most americans, and that clarifies what is and is not happening. fortimes it is a challenge those on the intelligence committee to talk openly about the safeguards and some of these programs. this amendment helps make it clear and reassures americans about some of the things they may have read or heard that has occurred within nsa.
this amendment is not an overreaction that increases the danger that americans face from terrorism around the world. this amendment says that the nsa cannot acquire information for the purpose of targeting americans, and it says clearly that the nsa may not monitor the content of the communication of the americans. i think the key point that members need to know is that there are multiple layers of safeguards to make sure these programs operate in the way that the fisa court has laid them out to operate. the intelligence committees -- do a considerable amount of oversight, get regular reports, even if somebody asked and only punches a two instead of a three on her keyboard get a report about that. members of the intelligence committee can sit next to analysts and what they are doing. it is not just the intelligence committee it is the fisa court. they have oversight. the same sorts of reports they
can change the guidelines that operates under. in addition to that, there are internal inspector general monitoring of these. you get every branch of government involved in making sure that the safeguards in place. those same safeguards will be in place to make sure that the provisions of the gentleman's amendment are followed as well. some would do away with these programs. no amount safeguards are good for them. they never say what would replace them. they would just have them go away. i guess they would just assume that somehow or other that americans could be made safe. the truth is, we have been credibly successful and somewhat lucky since 9/11. as far as preventing further terrorist attacks on our homeland. oft is because of the work the military, intelligence professionals, law enforcement among and as i say, a fair
amount of luck. but these rogue ramps at nsa have made -- these programs at nsa have made a crucial contribution to that success over the last decade. it seems to me we would be fool hardy to toss them away as some would want to do. i think this amendment strikes the right approach. i also believe that the "wall street journal" makes a good point when it says the last thing congress should do is kill a program in a rush to honor the reckless claims of mr. snowden and his apologist. >> the time is expired. does the gentleman from indiana wish any time? i'm sorry, it is back to mr. pompeo. the gentleman from kansas is recognized. >> i would like to yield three minutes or as much time as he would like, the general one
>> the gentleman is working as for three minutes. >> thank you. first, i rise in support of the pompeo amendment. this amendment reaffirms in america, privacy and security must coexist together. this amendment states that in no uncertain terms, the government can not use section 702 of the foreign intelligence act to target americans for surveillance. this summit also reaffirms that the phone records collected through section 215 of the patriot act, it makes the intent of congress very clear. i believe the pompeo amendment makes a powerful statement that n.s.a. cannot target americans or listen to their phone calls. however, i do understand the concerns of the american people and of congress when it comes to these programs. on the house intelligence committee, we are reviewing potential ways to change the fisa act that will provide the intelligence community with the tools it needs to keep our country safe while also protecting privacy and civil liberties.
we are committed to having this important discussion. however, i do have concerns about the amendment we will debate next. that amendment is an on-off switch of section 215 of the patriot act and will have an impact and our country will be more vulnerable to terrorist attacks. a planned attack on the new york city subway system was stopped because of section 215. but the amash amendment passes this authority, and it will end it. this amendment goss too far too fast on the wrong lemmingstive vehicle. we need to debate the scope of this program and we are, but this is an extreme knee-jerk reaction to the situation.
this program has been authorized and re-authorized by congress and receives extensive oversight by the intelligence committee and it is a vital tool to protect our nation. remember, 9/11 happened in part because we failed to connect the dots. one of the critical tools we now have and use to connect those dots is section 215 of the patriot act. remember, this is just phone records, just phone numbers, no conversations. i respectfully urge a no vote on the amash amendment and yes vote on the pompeo amendment. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from indiana is recognized. mr. visclosky: i yield two minutes to the gentlelady from california. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized for two minutes. ms. lofgren: i urge a no vote on the amendment. why? because it restates current law and current law has been interpreted by the administration in a way that is
frankly contrary to the intent of the crafters of the patriot act. section 215 of the patriot act says that you can obtain information that is relevant to a national security investigation. now what's happened since congress enacted that provision? it's a low bar, but under the n.s.a.'s interpretation, it's no bar at all, because as has been widely reported, they are collecting the information about every phone call made by every american. clearly, that is not relevant to a terrorist investigation. i think it's important to note that business records that are the subject of 215 include a lot of sensitive information. what are business records? phone records? internet records? credit card records? medical records?
are these things that we would voluntary give up to the government? no. they are incredibly sensitive and that's why they are being sought. i do think it is important to note that the amendment that will follow after this one doesn't end the ability of the government to pursue terrorism. we are all for that. it merely requires that the government adhere to the law, which requires that there be relevant to a terrorist investigation. i do think -- i certainly do not challenge the motivation of the gentleman who has offered this amendment, but i do think that if you think this provides a remedy, then you're wrong. this provides a fig leaf. we should vote against it. and i hope we will move onto the amash amendment and solve the
problem today. and i thank the gentleman, and i yield back. the chair: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from kansas. mr. pompeo: i reserve. mr. visclosky: i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from kansas is recognized. mr. pompeo: i would like to correct a couple of things. it is not a fig leaf but things to clarify about what section 215 authorizes and section 702 authorizes. it is intended to make crystal clear the boundaries of these two important national security programs. these laws have been in place and interpreted by multiple administrations in the same way. there has been no change in this law when this president came into office and we should continue to support these programs regardless who is the commander in chief of the united states.
i would ask my colleagues to support this amendment. and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman has yielded his time. therefore, all time on this debate has ceased. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from kansas. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the motion is adopted. >> i ask for the yeas and nays. the chair: does the gentleman request a recorded vote? it is now in order to consider amendment number 100 printed in house report 11-170. 113-170. for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan seek recognition? mr. amash: i have an amendment at the desk.
the clerk: amendment number 100 printed in house report 113-170 offered by mr. amash of michigan. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 312, the gentleman from michigan, mr. amash, and a member opposed will each control 7 1/2 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from michigan. mr. amash: i yield myself one minute. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. amash: we are here today for a very simple reason, to defend the fourth amendment, to defend the privacy of each and every american. as director of national intelligence has made clear, the government collects the phone records without suspicion of
every single american in the united states. my amendment makes a simple but important change. it limits the government's collection of those records -- of the records to those records that pertain to a person who is the subject of an investigation pursuant to section 215. opponents of this amendment will use the same tactics that every government throughout history has used to justify its violation of rights. fear. they'll tell you the government must violate the rights of the american people to protect us against those who hate our freedoms. they will tell you there is no expectation of privacy in documents that are stored with a third party. tell that to the american people. tell that to our constituents back home. we are here to answer one question for the people we represent. do we oppose the suspicionless collection of every american's phone records? the chair: the gentleman's time
has expired. the gentleman reserves. who seeks recognition? >> i reserve the balance. >> the gentleman from florida seeks recognition. the gentleman is recognized for 7.5 minutes. >> i'm very happy to yield three minutes to the gentleman, very distinguished chairman of the house intelligence committee, the gentleman from michigan. >> the gentleman from michigan is recognized. >> thank you, madam chairman. i think the american people have legitimate concerns. they should be addressed. we should have time and education on what actually happens in the particular program of which we speak. i will give you my word that this fall, we will work to find additional privacy protections with this program that has no e- mails, no phone calls, no names, and no addresses. 14 federal judges have said yes,
this comports with the constitution. 800 cases around the 1979 case have affirmed the underpinnings of the legality of this case. 800. so 14 judges are wrong, 800 different cases are wrong. the legislators on both intelligence committees are all wrong. why is it that people of both parties looked at this program, at a time when our nation is under siege, by those individuals who want to bring violence to the shores of the united states? those who know it best to support the program because we spent as much time on this to get it right. to make sure the oversight is right. no other program, no other program has the legislature and the judicial branch doing oversight of a program like this. if we had this and other agencies, we would not have problems. think about who we are in this body. have 12 years gone by, and her memories faded so badly we have forgotten what happened on september 11? this bill turns off a very specific program. it does not stop so-called spying and other things it has
been alleged to do. that is not what is happening. it is not a surveillance bill. it is not monitoring. it does not do any of those things. what happened after september 11 that we didn't know september 10, passing this amendment takes us back to september 10. after it we said there is a seam, a gap. somebody, terrorist overseas, living amongst us in the united states commonly missed it. we didn't have this capability. what if we had caught it? it is not a what if. it is not theoretical. 54 times, this and the other program stopped and thwarted terrorist attacks here and in europe. saving real lives. this is real.
it will have a real consequence. this is hard. think of the people who came here before us in this great body. madison, lincoln, kennedy served here. the issues they dealt with, and the politics of big, and moving america forward. the mandate of this house that we must provide for the general defense of the united states, and think of those challenges. are we so small that we can only look at our facebook likes today? are we going to stand up and find how many lives we can save? let's get back to the big politics of the protecting america. reject this amendment. let's do this right. >> the gentleman from florida reserves. >> i reserve. >> the gentleman from michigan is recognized. >> i yield 50 seconds to the gentleman from michigan. >> he is recognized for one minute.
>> i thank the gentleman from yielding to me. ladies and gentlemen of the house, this amendment will not stop the proper use of the patriot act, and fisa authorities to conduct terrorism and intelligence investigation. i would never block that. all this is intending to do is to curtail the ongoing dragnet collection and storage of the personal records of innocent americans. it does not defund the nsa, and it will continue to allow them to conduct full-fledged surveillance, as long as it relates to an actual investigation. our joining together on this bipartisan amendment demonstrates our joint commitment to ensuring that our fight against terrorism, and espionage follows the rules of law. but the clear intent of the statutes passed by this
congress. i urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle -- i urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to adopt this. >> the gentleman from michigan is reserved. the gentleman from florida is recognized. >> i'm very happy to yield 2.5 minutes to the gentlelady from minnesota, ms. bachmann. >> the gentlelady from minnesota is recognized. >> thank you madam speaker. this is a very important issue that we are taking up today. the number one duty of the american government is the safety of the american people of our constituents, and our own skins. we have known all too well national security is a real and
present danger. it is something we have to take quite seriously. we cannot deal in false narratives. a false narrative has emerged that the federal government is taking in the content of american phone calls. it is not true. it is not happening. a false narrative has emerged that the federal government is taking in the content of the american people's e-mails. it is not true. it is not happening. we need to deal in facts. the facts are real. the facts are these. the only people who have benefited from the revelation of classified information by someone who worked for this government, who intentionally and unauthorized declassified some of the most sensitive national security information that we have, the only result is that those who are engaged in islamic jihad will have been benefited.
those that we seek to protect have not. consider this. there is more information contained in the phone book that sits at home on your kitchen counter about each one of us in the information that is in the national security database we are talking about today. your name, your address, it is in the phone book. your name, your address, is not in this national security database. no other nation in the world has the advantage that the united states of america has on national security. no other nation. we would agree to handcuff ourselves and our allies and by restricting ourselves. let it not be. let us not deal in false narratives. let us deal in facts that will keep the american people safe. when you look at an envelope, when a letter is put in the mail, is there a privacy right as to what has been written on that envelope?
no, there isn't. the privacy is what is contained inside the envelope. that is a fourth amendment right. is there a right to the record you call someone on a certain date? no there isn't. it is a record. let us in reality, not in else narratives. i yield back. >> the time is expired to read the judgment from florida reserves. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. >> i yield one minute to the gentleman from wisconsin. >> the gentleman from wisconsin is recognized for one minute. >> thank you very much, madam chair. i rise in strong support of the amash amendment. i do so as the person who has a principal author of the patriot act in 2001, who got that law through quickly after 9/11, and who supported and managed the 2006 reauthorization. let me make this perfectly
clear. unlike what we have heard from speakers on the other side of this issue, this amendment does not stop the collection of data under section 215. the people who are subject to an investigation of an authorized terrorist plot. what it does do is prevent the collection of people who are not subject to an investigation. now, relevance is required in any type of a grand jury subpoena, or a criminal collection of data for a criminal trial. this goes far beyond that, and what the nsa is doing. the time has come to stop it. the way we stop it is to approve this amendment. >> the settlements time has expired. the gentleman from michigan is reserved.
the gentleman from florida is recognized. >> i continue to reserve. >> he continues to reserve and the gentleman from michigan is recognized. the gentleman from colorado is recognized for 30 seconds. >> many americans feel that our fundamental liberties is threatened. in addition, it has ruined and hurt our repetition abroad, threatening our trade repetition with allies, threatening american jobs as a result and putting in danger the cooperative insurance relationship to need to fight the war on terror. the responsible thing to do, let's pass this amendment and have a practical approach to show our liberties and
securities are consistent for america. i urge a yes vote. i yield back the rest of my time. >> the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from michigan. >> i continue to reserve. >> the gentleman from florida is recognized. >> i continue to reserve. >> the gentlewoman from south carolina is recognized. >> thank you. it is a question beyond that. the balancing is done by people we do not elect. right now the balancing is begun by people we do not know, by people we do not elect. in large part, by somebody who has admitted lying to this body in the hearing. that is wrong. we should be doing the balancing, we were delighted to do that, and -- we can do the balancing, not folks at our
elected that we do not know. >> the gentleman yield back. >> i reserve the balance of my time. >> the gentleman from florida is recognized. >> i continue to reserve. >> the gentleman from florida reserves. the gentleman from michigan. >> the gentlelady from california is recognized for 30 seconds. >> i want to talk about the oversight. this year the report was eighth sensitive, less than a full page. to think that congress has substantial oversight of this program is incorrect. i agree when we wrote the patriot act, relevance had a meeting, and i would ask unanimous consent to place in the record a letter to remove him from the department of justice that justice that basically says, because 300 inquiries were made, the records of every single american became relevant.
>> your time has expired. the request will be considered. under general leave. the gentleman from michigan? >> i yield 30 seconds to the gentleman from texas. >> the gentleman from texas is recognized for 30 seconds. >> i ask unanimous consent to revise and expand. >> without egyptian -- without objection. >> madam chair, this is not about how sincere the nsa people are in implementing this technique. it is not about how careful they are. it is whether they have the right to collect the data on every phone call for every american every day. the patriot act did not specifically authorize it, section 215 talked about tangible things relevant to an authorized security investigation. the nsa's interpretation, relevant means all data all the
time. that is wrong. we should support the amash amendment and vote for it. >> the time has expired. the gentleman from michigan. >> i yield 15 seconds to the gentleman from south carolina. >> recognized for 15 seconds. >> the right for people to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated and no warrants shall be issued. but by probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, those who choose to trade liberty for security will find they have neither. i yield back. >> the gentleman some of expired. the gentleman from michigan. >> i yield 30 seconds to the gentleman from texas. >> recognized for 30 seconds. >> war and say to be particular and specific the place to be searched and the items to be seized. no judge would ever sign a general search warrant like the british did, allowing the police to search every house on the
block, much less seize everybody's phone records. the government has gone too far. no more dragnet operations. a specific law based on probable cause, or stay out of our lives and that is the way it is. [applause] >> the gentleman's time has expired. >> the gentleman from new york is recognized for 30 seconds. >> madam chairperson, this amendment stop the government from misusing section 215 to engage in the dragnet collection of all of our personal telephone records. congress did not grant them the authority for any subsequent search of the data. this amendment restores the requirement that it is relevant to target and authorized
terrorist investigation. it restores the minimal relevant standards but ignored by excessive administrations. they cannot operate above or beyond the law as they operate in this respect. i urge my colleagues to vote in favor of the amash amendment. >> the time has expired. the gentleman from michigan. >> i yield 30 seconds of the gentleman from virginia. >> the gentleman from virginia is recognized for 30 seconds. >> risks of assistance, that is what we are looking at. the founding fathers found that. but they are doing violates the fourth amendment. we took an oath to uphold the constitution. we are supposed to rely on a secret agency that deals with a secret court that deals with a selected secrecy committee, and members of congress are limited to their access to the actions of that committee, but we are supposed to trust them. , we have got a job to do. i yield back. we vote yes.
>> the gentleman's time has expired. >> may i inquire how much time remains? >> 45 seconds remaining. the gentleman from florida has two minutes remaining. >> i yield 30 seconds to the gentlelady from hawaii. >> the gentlelady is recognized for 30 seconds. >> thank you. countless men and women from my state and all across the country have warned the uniforms with have worn the uniforms with their lives on the line to protect our freedoms and liberties. i cannot, in good conscience, vote to take a single dollar from the pockets of hard-working taxpayers across the country to pay for programs that would infringe on the very liberties and freedoms our troops have fought and died for. ben franklin said, they who give up essential liberties to have a little bit of safety deserve neither. i yield back. >> the gentlelady time has expired. the gentleman from michigan. >> i yield myself as much time as i may consume. >> the gentleman is recognized for 15 seconds.
>> we are here to answer one question for the people we represent. do we oppose the collection of every american's phone records? when you have the chance to stand up for america's privacy, did you? please support the amash amendment and oppose the right of our constituents. >> the time has expired. the gentleman from florida? >> i yield two minutes for closing argument to the gentleman from arkansas. >> the gentleman from arkansas is recognized for two minutes. >> thank you. i rise to strongly urge opposition to the amash amendment. this program has stopped dozens of terrorist attacks. that means it saved untold american lives. this amendment is not simple. it does not limit the program. it does not modify or constrain the program. it does not end the program.
it blows it up. some of you have heard the analogy that if you want to have search for a needle and a haystack, you have to have a haystack. this blows away the entire haystack. you will not have this program if the amendment passes. it does so despite all you have already heard. the program is constitutional under the supreme court precedent. president that goes back to 1979, just two years after i was born, the year that one of the young sponsors of this amendment was born. this program is approved by large majorities of this body on the statute text they approve, not secret intents or wishes. overseen by article three judges. it is executed primarily by military officers, not generals, but the majors and the colonels who have been fighting and bleeding for the country for 12 years. what is it? it is nothing more than an excel spreadsheet with five columns. called to, called from, date,
time, the duration. five columns. billions of rows. it is in a locked box and cannot be searched unless you have specific suspicion of a number being used by a terrorist. only then do they go into the database and run a search for what the number has been calling. why do you need it? verizon, at&t, other companies, will not keep this data. secondly, you need it quickly. when i was in iraq, if we roll up a bad guy and we found a cell phone or a thumb drive, we would upload the data so intelligence professionals could search it so they can roll up another bad guy because you only have a few hours to stop a terrorist. we are at war. you may not like that truth. it is the truth. we are at war. do not take this tool away from us.
[applause] >> the gentleman's time has expired. the question is, on the amendment offered by the gentleman from michigan, those in favor, say ay. those opposed, say no. in the opinion of the chair, the no's have it. further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from michigan will be quite it was defeated 255-217. two hundred five-217. president obama said he would veto the bill if the amendment was part of the bill. of southindsey graham carolina says u.s. sanctions should be handed out against any country that offers asylum to edward snowden, the employee who leaked nsa documents. would require the
state department to coordinate with lawmakers and create penalties. mr. snowden is avoiding extradition and russia. he revealed details of the surveillance program era to senator graham's proposal of sanctions by the senate appropriations committee as an amendment to the 2014 diplomacy and international aid bill. tonight on c-span, we will get a look at congress' new congress on black men and boys. --heard from naacp resident president as well as tracy martin, the father of trayvon martin. you can see that at 8:55 p.m. eastern right here on c-span. the korean war helpedñ s unifies himself÷÷ññ÷÷ñ there.y that was not
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prepare the personnel for a senior position. he was first commissioned by the air force as an intelligence officer. this is about 25 minutes. >> there is a lot of people out here that will receive bachelor 's masters degrees. what theyreemphasize just said. is like another round of applause. thanks very much.