Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, issued the following statement regarding President Obama’s speech this morning outlining a series of reforms to intelligence collection:
“Our intelligence collection programs are vital tools used by the government to defend the security of the U.S. homeland. I am concerned that some of President Obama’s suggestions today go too far and may make it more difficult for the government to carry out its constitutional responsibility to keep Americans safe.
“The collection programs we have in place are legally authorized and receive robust oversight from the Congress as well as the judiciary. Over the past several months, we’ve had a vigorous debate following the damaging leaks that revealed the existence of many programs President Obama discussed today.
“As the president seeks both legislative and administrative changes to current authorities, I and other members of the intelligence committee will closely examine their impact to ensure keeping our people safe is our foremost goal while maintaining proper safeguards against unnecessary intrusions of our people’s civil liberties.
“In this ongoing war against terrorism, the vital work of the men and women of the intelligence community is our front line of defense. We need to ensure that those who work in the intelligence community have the tools they need to piece together information in order to defend our nation as well as our allies.”