Kaine Statement On Legislation To Reform Government Surveillance Programs
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tim Kaine released the following statement today after the Senate considered a series of measures related to government surveillance programs. Kaine voted in support of beginning debate on the USA Freedom Act, bipartisan legislation that would ban the bulk collection of telephone records and make other important reforms to current programs. The Senate, however, failed by three votes to agree to begin debate on the measure. The Senate also rejected an alternative bill to reauthorize the provisions of the Act without any changes. Because the Act expires on May 31, the Senate did agree to return early from the recess to reconsider the issue and ensure the Act does not expire without renewing key provisions that keep America secure.
“I was pleased to vote in support of beginning debate on the USA Freedom Act, and I hope the Senate will pass the bill quickly when we return May 31. But it is important that any modifications to the Patriot Act programs remain consistent with the recent ruling by 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, which found the current programs illegal, and strike the proper balance between civil liberties and national security.