(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) released the following statement on her vote opposing final passage of H.R. 6304, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978. The legislation passed the Senate by a vote of 69-28.
“I am committed to giving our intelligence professionals the legitimate tools they need to make America more secure, while at the same time protecting the constitutional liberties of all Americans.
“For that reason, I oppose granting blanket retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies that may have illegally allowed the government to spy on innocent Americans’ phone calls, email, and Internet activity. Granting immunity would not make America safer, but would only serve to prevent Americans from asserting their constitutional rights and legitimize the president’s warrantless wiretapping program.
“I voted for three amendments that would have improved this bill by increasing accountability and protecting the liberties of Americans. Unfortunately, each of these amendments failed. At that time, it became clear that I could not support the surveillance bill in its current form.
“I remain committed to ensuring that the government is able to collect vital intelligence information in order to protect America, while respecting the civil liberties we so strongly fight to defend.”