Press Release

Welch Votes Against Reauthorizing Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Without Pragmatic Reforms

Apr 20, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C.Senator Peter Welch (D-Vt.) voted Friday evening against reauthorizing Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), citing a lack of pragmatic reforms—including a targeted warrant requirement and a Welch-led amendment that would have brought additional accountability to the FISA court.

Senator Welch released the following statement:

“Section 702 is an important tool for the intelligence community. But the bill we voted on tonight lacked reforms that would have further balanced the need for intelligence gathering with the need to protect Americans’ privacy and civil liberties. A bipartisan coalition—on both sides of the aisle and in both Chambers of Congress—share these concerns, and Congress has an obligation to address and consider reforms while we have the opportunity.

“I am disappointed the Senate did not advance the amendment proposed by myself and Senator Lee, which was previously led by my predecessor Senator Leahy and passed with broad bipartisan support only four years ago. This reform, and many of the other bipartisan reforms offered as amendments, would have safeguarded civil liberties and promoted accountability—goals we should all share.”