Jim Sensenbrenner is expanding his efforts of reforming the surveillance practices of the United States. The lawmaker who introduced the Patriot Act in 2001, a document that enabled the NSA to justify spying on everyone, even US citizens, is trying to make things right.
Sensenbrenner has warned European politicians that his new reforms will have a difficult ride through Congress, but at the same time resisted calls to expand protection to foreigners, individuals that have no protection in the face of the NSA, the Guardian reports.
"There is no question that for Senator Leahy and me to win, we have to fight the administration, the leadership of our respective parties and our respective houses of Congress as well as the intelligence committee members. We hope to have it included in the money bill and we will try to attach it, particularly in the House where it will have more chance. The default position would be to defeat the money bill," Sensenbrenner told a committee in Brussels.
While he expressed his skepticism of the success of his reforms, the lawmaker remains positive. Sensenbrenner referenced the Amash amendment which failed earlier this year by 12 votes, which is a small margin.
Had it passed, this particular bill would have prevented the intelligence agency from using Section 215 of the Patriot Act to collect records. Following heavy lobbying efforts from the intelligence community and even the White House, the vote went against the proposal.
"International co-operation is crucial to stopping terrorism, but trust is also integral. I ask my friends here in the European Parliament to work pragmatically with the United States to continue balanced efforts to protect our nations. Together we can rebuild trust while defending civil liberties and national security on both sides of the Atlantic," the lawmaker said in front of the committee.