Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) released the following statement about the NSA Amendments in the Defense Appropriations bill:

“The federal government should never be allowed to access the content of phone calls or internet communications by any U.S. person unless they have a warrant, and I will do all I can to prevent that from happening.  That is why I supported Representative Nugent’s amendment which prohibits the use of funds by the NSA to target the phone calls, emails, and other communications of a U.S. person.  Under this amendment and current law, the NSA cannot see the phone calls Americans are making or track their communications without a court warrant.

“I also believe that it is critical that our intelligence community has resources that can minimize the risk of an attack on the U.S.  The Intelligence reauthorizing bill is the best place to address these issues to ensure we have both the right tools and the right protections for civil liberties. Considering this subject on an appropriations bill prevents us from considering how best to amend the law to ensure we achieve both goals.  That is why I opposed the Amash amendment.  As legislation advances, I will continue to look for ways to improve policies that strike a balance between safeguarding individual rights and liberties, and protecting our nation from threats and terrorism.”