March 25, 2014
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine), a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, released the following statement in response to reports the President will seek to restructure the government’s bulk collection of telephone call records under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act:
“I am encouraged by reports that the President is preparing proposals to reform the government’s bulk collection program that are largely in line with many of the changes I have fought for over the last several months,” Senator King said. “I have been wrestling with this issue since joining the Intelligence Committee, and as part of this important debate, I authored a compromise provision that would expand Legislative Branch oversight by automatically triggering Congressional notification every time the government accesses the data. As Congress scrutinizes proposals, I will continue to press for this and other reforms to make certain that effective checks and balances are in place.”
During the Senate Intelligence Committee’s mark-up of S. 1631, the ‘FISA Improvements Act’ last fall, Senator King offered an amendment to require the Director of National Intelligence to record automatically the aggregate number of queries of bulk metadata and report that automatic recording to Congress on a quarterly basis. The amendment was unanimously adopted by the Committee and reported out on October 31, 2013.