Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) responded today to President Obama’s speech at the Department of Justice regarding government surveillance programs and national security. 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: “President Obama says he’s listened to and consulted with experts and legislators and intends to enact reforms and expand executive oversight. Some of his proposals I agree with, others I don’t. But the bottom line is real reform cannot be done by presidential fiat.

“Congressional action should be taken to protect Americans’ civil liberties by reining in the NSA, ending bulk collection and making the FISC more transparent, while keeping in place the tools needed to protect our national security. The president and intelligence community have repeatedly misled Congress and the American people and lack credibility for reform. The most effective way for the president to restore trust in the intelligence community is to endorse the USA FREEDOM Act, which strikes the proper balance between privacy and security.  This bill would make permanent the good intentions of the president and address some of the omissions in his speech where Americans’ liberties need greater protection.  I remain confident that if brought to the floor for a vote, the USA FREEDOM Act will pass with broad bipartisan report.”