WH Asks Congress To Permanently Reauthorize Surveillance Law

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, accompanied by, from left, National Counterintelligence and Security Center Director William Evanina, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, speaks during a briefing at the Justice Department in Washington, Friday, Aug. 4, 2017, on leaks of classified material threatening national security, one week after President Donald Trump complained that Sessions was weak on preventing such disclosures. (AP Andrew Harnik)
Andrew Harnik/AP

Attorney General Jeff Sessions and National Intelligence Director Dan Coats on Monday asked top congressional Republicans and Democrats to reauthorize a law that lets the U.S. government target foreign nationals outside the United States.

“We are writing to urge that the Congress promptly reauthorize, in clean and permanent form, Title VII of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act,” Sessions and Coats wrote in a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

Sessions and Coats cited information gathered under Section 702 of the legislation, which they claimed “produces significant foreign intelligence that is vital to protect the nation against international terrorism and other threats.”

“We look forward to working with you to ensure the speedy enactment of legislation reauthorizing Title VII, without amendment beyond removing the sunset provision,” they wrote.

The provision is set to sunset at the end of the year unless Congress passes legislation to renew it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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