[Congressional Record Volume 158, Number 163 (Tuesday, December 18, 2012)] [Senate] [Pages S8117-S8132] unanimous consent agreement--S. 3276 Mr. REID. Mr. President, the Senate has been considering the supplemental appropriations bill for 2 days now. The Republicans, I am told, are in the process of trying to picture out what they want to do. We have other concerns, as you know. We had the tragedy in Connecticut, and we had the untimely death of our friend Senator Inouye. But time doesn't stop for anything. It keeps marching on, Christmas is coming. We have a fiscal cliff that is on the horizon. So I hope we can make progress on this bill in the morning. If not, I will be forced to file cloture to try to figure out a path forward on this bill. It has been open for amendment. That is what my friends said they wanted, and that is what they have. We have the DOD authorization. We need to complete action on that conference report, which has been completed now. We expect they will file tonight or tomorrow, so we need to complete that before the end of the week. Christman is 7 days from today. We have judicial nominations. We have been making some progress with the district court nominations. We have to do three more before the end of the week. We have executive nominations we need to consider before the end of the week. FISA is an important piece of legislation. Imperfect as it is, it is what is necessary to help us be protected from the evil that is in the world. We have to complete this before we leave here this week. Today is Tuesday. Everyone else can do the math just as well as I can about how many days are left. I ask unanimous consent that at a time to be determined by the majority leader after consultation with the Republican leader, the Senate proceed to consideration of Calendar No. 463, S. 3276; that the only first-degree amendments in order to the bill be the following: Judiciary Committee-reported substitute; Leahy, sunset; Leahy, oversight; Wyden, public reporting; Wyden, backdoor searches; Tester, reverse targeting; and Merkley, declassification of FISA Court opinion; that there be 1 hour of debate equally divided between the proponents and opponents; that upon the use or yielding back of time, the Senate proceed to votes in relation to the amendments in the order listed; that there be no amendments in order to any of the amendments prior to the votes; that upon disposition of the amendments, the bill be read a third time and the Senate proceed to vote on passage of the bill, as amended, if amended. Mr. President, before the Chair rules, it is pretty easy to figure out how much time this includes. This is the better part of a day--the better part of a day if we got this consent done. So I ask that the Chair approve the consent agreement. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection? Mr. CHAMBLISS. Mr. President, reserving the right to object, and I do intend to object, first of all, I say to the leader, thanks for moving toward the FISA bill because--the Senator is exactly right--this is a bill that must get done before the end of the year so we can make sure our intelligence community is able to gather, in a lawful and legal way, the kind of intelligence that helps keep America safe and secure. There are two documents; first, a Statement of Administration Policy from the White House where they have agreed to the bill that has already passed the House, and second, a letter from the leadership of the intelligence community--namely, the Director of National Intelligence as well as the Attorney General--directed as the leadership, both of which letters and statements support the House bill. It is because of that and because of the fact that if the House bill comes through here--and I understand we may have to have debate, may have to have amendments debated, whatever the leader says--but the important thing is that we can hopefully get that bill passed and send it directly to the President's desk. So I would ask unanimous consent to have printed in the Record the letter from the DNI and the Attorney General dated February 8 as well as the Statement of Administration Policy dated September 10. Mr. President, I do object. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard. There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows: Executive Office of the President, Office of Management and Budget, Washington, DC, September 10, 2012. Statement of Administration Policy H.R. 5949--FISA Amendments Act Reauthorization Act of 2012 (Rep. Smith, R-TX, and 5 cosponsors) The Administration strongly supports H.R. 5949. The bill would reauthorize Title VII of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which expires at the end of this year. Title VII of FISA allows the Intelligence Community to collect vital foreign intelligence information about international terrorists and other important targets overseas, while providing protection for the civil liberties and privacy of Americans. Intelligence collection under Title VII has produced and continues to produce significant information that is vital to defend the Nation against international terrorism and other threats. The Administration looks forward to working with the Congress to ensure the continued availability of this critical intelligence capability. ____ Hon. John Boehner, Speaker, House of Representatives, Washington, DC. Hon. Harry Reid, Majority Leader, U.S. Senate, Washington, DC. Hon. Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Leader, House of Representatives, Washington, DC. Hon. Mitch McConnell, Republican Leader, U.S. Senate, Washington, DC. Dear Speaker Boehner and Leaders Reid, Pelosi, and McConnell: We are writing to urge that the Congress reauthorize Title VII of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) enacted by the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 (FAA), which is set to expire at the end of this year. Title VII of FISA allows the Intelligence Community to collect vital information about international terrorists and other important targets overseas. Reauthorizing this authority is the top legislative priority of the Intelligence Community. One provision, section 702, authorizes surveillance directed at non-U.S. persons located overseas who are of foreign intelligence importance. At the same time, it provides a comprehensive regime of oversight by all three branches of Government to protect the privacy and civil liberties of U.S. persons. Under section 702, the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence may authorize annually, with the approval of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), intelligence collection targeting categories of non-U.S. persons abroad, without the need for a court order for each individual target. Within this framework, no acquisition may intentionally target a U.S. person, here or abroad, or any other person known to be in the United States. The law requires special procedures designed to ensure that all such acquisitions target only non-U.S. persons outside the United States, and to protect the privacy of U.S. persons whose nonpublic information may be incidentally acquired. The Department of Justice and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence conduct extensive oversight reviews of section 702 activities at least once every sixty days, and Title VII requires us to report to the Congress on implementation and compliance twice a year. A separate provision of Title VII requires that surveillance directed at U.S. persons overseas be approved by the FISC in each individual case, based on a finding that there is probable cause to believe that the target is a foreign power or an agent, officer, or employee of a foreign power. Before the enactment of the FAA, the Attorney General could authorize such collection without court approval. This provision thus increases the protection given to U.S. persons. The attached background paper provides additional unclassified information on the structure, operation and oversight of Title VII of FISA. [[Page S8130]] Intelligence collection under Title VII has produced and continues to produce significant intelligence that is vital to protect the nation against international terrorism and other threats. We welcome the opportunity to provide additional information to members concerning these authorities in a classified setting. We are always considering whether there are changes that could be made to improve the law in a manner consistent with the privacy and civil liberties interests of Americans. Our first priority, however, is reauthorization of these authorities in their current form. We look forward to working with you to ensure the speedy enactment of legislation reauthorizing Title VII, without amendment, to avoid any interruption in our use of these authorities to protect the American people. Sincerely, James R. Clapper, Director of National Intelligence. Eric H. Holder, Jr., Attorney General. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The majority leader. Mr. REID. Mr. President, I will continue to work on a path forward. If anyone has any ideas how to help me do that, I would be happy to listen to them, but this is something we must do before we leave here. Christmas is not more important than this legislation. I am sorry, I hope I am not offending anyone, but that is the way it is. We have to get something done on this before the end of the year, and I think we will be walking on very, very thin ice to try to wait until after Christmas to try to move this legislation. It is hard for me to comprehend the potential damage to our country if we do not extend this legislation. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oklahoma.