House chairman calls for NSA reform in Senate after election

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteKey House chairman floats changes to immigration bill This week: House GOP regroups after farm bill failure GOP revolts multiply against retiring Ryan MORE (R-Va.) on Thursday called on the Senate to pass National Security Agency reforms when it returns after the midterm elections. 

The chairman said U.S. technology companies have been hurt financially by revelations last year of secret NSA surveillance programs. 

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"When the Senate returns in November, it must pass the USA Freedom Act in order to protect Americans’ civil liberties and to ensure that American tech companies can begin to rebuild trust with their customers and flourish in the global economy," he said in a statement. 

Goodlatte said he agrees with strong reform advocate Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, who a day earlier said the government's dragnet collection of information is costing U.S. jobs. 

"As I stated when the House overwhelmingly passed the USA Freedom Act in May, American tech companies have experienced a backlash from both American and foreign consumers and they’ve lost a piece of their competitive edge in the global marketplace," Goodlatte said in his statement Thursday. 

Lawmakers in the upper chamber have been pushing for a vote on Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy's (D-Vt.) version of the USA Freedom Act. The House passed its own version in May. But a number of technology firms and senators, including Wyden, have expressed reservations that the House bill does not go far enough.

It is unclear if the proposal will be taken up in the cramped lame-duck session following the elections. 

The Senate bill would end the government's bulk collection of U.S. phone records and require the agency to narrow its searches of data. It would also allow technology companies to reveal more detail about government orders it receives to turn over information.