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Sen. Cruz Statement on FISA Vote

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on the Constitution, today voted against reauthorizing Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) for two years. Sen. Cruz voted for an amendment that would have required federal government agencies to get a warrant in order to view Americans’ private communications collected using FISA Section 702 authority.

About the votes, Sen. Cruz said, “Last year, I voted to support a brief extension of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act because Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle wanted to reform the program, and I felt we should not allow it to lapse while we considered reforms.

“Our Constitution does not apply to foreign nationals, and section 702 is a powerful tool to ascertain and prevent foreign threats. However, the Constitution applies fully to American citizens. Unfortunately, the reforms included in the latest version of FISA did not go far enough in protecting Americans’ privacy rights from intrusions by the federal government.

“Today, I voted against this FISA reauthorization bill because it failed to include the most important requirement to protect Americans’ civil rights: that law enforcement get a warrant before targeting a U.S. citizen. How FISA has been used and abused in the past is extremely troubling. While it performs a critically important role—particularly at a time when President Biden has allowed millions of illegal aliens to pour across our border—we must not sacrifice Americans’ constitutional privacy protections. I supported an amendment to ensure law enforcement had to get a warrant before using FISA to access Americans’ private communications. Because the bill failed to include that amendment, I voted no.”