By a vote of 57-42, the bipartisan USA FREEDOM Act failed to reach the 60-vote threshold to advance in the Senate. Following the Senate’s rejection of the USA FREEDOM Act, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers (D-Mich.), Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), and Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) issued the following joint statement:
“The Senate’s rejection of the USA FREEDOM Act, a bipartisan bill that overwhelmingly passed in the House of Representatives, misses an opportunity to protect our civil liberties while also maintaining our national security. The USA FREEDOM Act is a carefully crafted compromise that has earned the support of the White House, the intelligence community, privacy and civil liberties advocates, private industry, Republicans and Democrats, and most importantly the American people.
“The USA FREEDOM Act, which the House passed 338-88, ends bulk collection of data, increases transparency, and prevents government overreach. The bill preserves key intelligence-gathering authorities while prohibiting bulk collection under Section 215, consistent with the Second Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision. Section 215 would remain a valuable counterterrorism tool for the FBI and a targeted call detail records authority would replace the NSA’s current, unlawful program.
“Because the Senate has rejected the USA FREEDOM Act, Section 215—and the NSA’s bulk collection program that some in the Senate are trying to preserve—will now expire before the House reconvenes on the evening of June 1. The Senate has failed to make the important reforms necessary, jeopardizing Americans’ civil liberties and our national security.”