Nov 18 2015
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, today joined legislation introduced by Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR), The Liberty Through Strength Act, which would delay the USA FREEDOM Act’s termination of the terrorist metadata collection program until January 2017 and until the President can certify that the new National Security Agency (NSA) collection system being established under that law is as effective as the current system.
“The Paris terrorist attacks remind us that no corner of the free world is safe from these savages, and it is our duty to defeat them by any means necessary,” Rubio said. “President Obama still has no strategy to defeat ISIL, and he has been aided and abetted in advancing his dangerously naive view of the world by politicians in both parties who have helped him gut our military and weaken critical intelligence programs to uncover and foil terrorist plots.
“The USA FREEDOM Act signed into law earlier this year left our intelligence community with fewer tools to protect the American people and needlessly created more vulnerabilities and gaps in information gathering used to prevent terrorist attacks at home and abroad,” added Rubio. “I’m joining Senator Cotton’s effort because it will provide the intelligence community one more essential tool to help law enforcement connect the dots of terrorist communications, uncover threats against the United States and our allies, and help keep terrorists out of the United States.”
The USA FREEDOM Act, which Rubio opposed when the Senate passed it in June, dramatically altered the NSA metadata collection system. As the Senate debated the changes being considered, Rubio joined Senators Cotton, Richard Burr (R-NC), and Jeff Sessions (R-AL) on the Senate floor to discuss the need to extend certain provisions the USA FREEDOM Act would alter. The changes, which go into effect December 1, would weaken U.S. intelligence gathering capabilities and leave America vulnerable. The Liberty Through Strength Act would:
- Extend the transition timeline in the USA FREEDOM Act until after January 31, 2017, and upon certification from the President that the new architecture will have no operational impacts; and
- Make permanent the USA PATRIOT Act’s “lone wolf” and roving wiretap provisions.