Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) responded today to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board’s (PCLOB) Report on the Telephone Records Program Conducted under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act and on the Operations of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

Congressman Sensenbrenner is the coauthor of the bipartisan, bicameral Leahy-Sensenbrenner USA FREEDOM Act, which has 124 cosponsors in the House of Representatives and 19 in the Senate.

Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner: “As I’ve said since June, I am extremely troubled by President Obama’s misinterpretation of Section 215 of the Patriot Act. Both the president’s hand-picked panel and now the PCLOB agree that bulk collection of Americans’ phone records has come at a high cost to privacy with little to no benefit to our national security.

“Section 215 was designed to obtain business records relevant to an authorized terrorism investigation. The PCLOB acknowledges the NSA’s bulk collection of telephone records does not meet that criteria and concludes the program is not legally justifiable. It also raises Constitutional concerns, citing the First and Fourth Amendments.

“This report adds to the growing momentum behind genuine, legislative reform. The USA FREEDOM Act is narrowly tailored to strike the proper balance between privacy and security. And if brought to the floor for a vote, it will pass with broad bipartisan support. The president has failed to deliver on his promises of transparency and the protection of our civil liberties. It is up to Congress to rein in abuse and restore trust in our intelligence community.”