FISA: Political Posturing Over National Security (Rep. Trent Franks)

Tuesday's hearing in the Subcommittee on Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties considering a Resolution authorizing the issuance of a subpoena to J. Kenneth Blackwell was, in my opinion, a demonstration of severely misplaced priorities at best and a deliberate subversion of America’s national security at worst.

As of midnight, February 16, America has been denied the ability to collect intelligence on the vast number of foreign-to-foreign electronic communications that allow us to anticipate threats, avert terrorist attacks, and protect innocent American lives. At this very moment, our intelligence community is being forced to rely on the archaic 1978 FISA regulations to gather any new foreign terrorist communications until the House of Representatives takes action and passes the Senate’s bill, H.R. 5440, which passed by a bipartisan majority of 68-29.

Instead of passing that bill before the President’s Day recess, House leadership chose to allow the Protect America Act to expire, deciding to leave for vacation and allow America to remain exposed by weakened intelligence capability rather than lose an opportunity for acrimonious political posturing.

Then Tuesday, in its first official act since adjourning for vacation, the Democrat leadership of the House Judiciary Committee considered a Resolution to subpoena a former Secretary of State from Ohio whose only sin was to politely decline a February 5 invitation to appear at a hearing on, quote “the current state of voting rights and the allocation of resources to end voter suppression and vote fraud.