WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement after the Senate voted to pass the USA Freedom Act:
“We are in constant search of the right balance between maintaining our national security and respecting the constitutional rights of American citizens. I believe we could have been even stronger in our protections, but the USA Freedom Act makes great strides over the existing FISA program. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that NSA’s bulk collection program was not authorized by law, so Congress had the responsibility to act and finally has done the right thing in passing the USA Freedom Act. I applaud the House for sending this legislation over to the Senate in a swift and overwhelmingly bipartisan fashion. It is my hope that going forward on national security and other key issues that the Senate will return as a place where policy is paramount to politics.
“Congress has given the men and women of our intelligence community, many of which live and work in Maryland, the tools needed and newly defined parameters to do their jobs efficiently and – most importantly — within the laws of the United States of America. As technology and threats change, Congress must be able to exercise this type of oversight to ensure our laws are not outpaced by the times.”