Last Thursday, the House of Representatives passed the USA FREEDOM Act by a vote of 303-121. It was the culmination of nearly a year of hard work to restore trust in our intelligence community and bring much-needed reform to our government’s surveillance authorities.

Senator Leahy and I wrote the USA FREEDOM Act because the government misapplied our nation’s existing surveillance laws, upsetting the delicate balance between privacy and security. Our bill ends bulk collection, increases transparency and restores accountability. In this age of rapidly developing technologies, these goals are constitutional and practical necessities.

Of course, there were setbacks, compromises and concessions made along the way in order to garner the required support. The Obama Administration insisted on broadening certain authorities and lessening certain restrictions to preserve core operations of the intelligence and law enforcement agencies. Some of these changes raise justifiable concerns and I share the disappointment many of you feel that this bill doesn’t do more.

But throughout my career, I have not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. With the passage of the USA FREEDOM Act, we made a powerful statement: Congress does not support bulk collection. The days of the NSA indiscriminately vacuuming up innocent Americans’ communications are over. Most importantly, after this bill becomes law, we will have critical transparency provisions to ensure that if the government again violates our trust, Congress and the public will know about it.

Last week’s vote was a first step—not a final step—in our efforts to reform surveillance. It gives us the tools to ensure that Congress and the public can provide an adequate check on the government, while also protecting our national security. Chairman Leahy has indicated that the Senate Judiciary Committee will take up the USA FREEDOM Act next month. Fortunately, the upper chamber will have the opportunity to strengthen this bill before the President signs it into law.