On Monday, members of the House Intelligence Committee held an open hearing into Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election that included a discussion of whether the U.S. government improperly surveilled officials or associates of any campaign. During that hearing, members of both parties favorably referred to Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act, a sweeping piece of intelligence legislation that is up for reauthorization later this year and, in our view, permits significant offenses against Americans’ civil liberties. Section 702 authorizes two truly alarming efforts that must be reformed or ended. Continue reading “Drawing a Line on Mass Surveillance: How Congress Must Reform Section 702”
Today the Committee on House Administration took a small but important step to restore the House of Representatives as an effective legislative and oversight body. It voted unanimously to increase funding for each permanent committee — with four committees receiving a double-digit percentage increase.
The legislative branch is appropriated 0.1% of the federal budget to oversee the entire federal government, with much of that going towards non-legislative functions like security and facilities. Congress is woefully underfunded to perform its legislative, oversight, and representational duties, and that has undermined its ability to serve as a check on the executive branch. Continue reading “A Small Step Towards A Better House of Representatives”