[Congressional Record: March 12, 2009 (Extensions)]
[Page E663]



                            HON. LAMAR SMITH

                                of texas

                    in the house of representatives

                        Thursday, March 12, 2009

  Mr. SMITH of Texas. Madam Speaker, today I introduce the Safe and
Secure America Act of 2009 to instill confidence in the American people
that our intelligence community is fully equipped to investigate and
prevent threats to our safety and security.
  This legislation extends for ten years sections 206 and 215 of the
USA PATRIOT Act and section 6001 of the Intelligence Reform and
Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, which are scheduled to sunset on
December 31, 2009. Three years ago, Congress reauthorized the USA
PATRIOT Act, eliminating all but these three sunsets.
  Section 206 of the USA PATRIOT Act authorizes the use of multipoint
or ``roving'' wiretaps for national security and intelligence
investigations. A ``roving'' wiretap applies to an individual and
allows the government to a use a single wiretap order to cover any
communications device that the suspect uses or may use. This type of
wiretap differs from a traditional criminal wiretap that only applies
to a particular phone or computer used by a target. Without roving
wiretap authority, investigators would be forced to seek a new court
order each time they need to change the location, phone, or computer
that needs to be monitored.
  Section 215 allows the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to apply
to the FISA court to issue orders granting the government access to any
tangible items (including books, records, papers, and other documents),
no matter who holds it, in foreign intelligence, international
terrorism, and clandestine intelligence cases. The USA PATRIOT
Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005 contains several
protections against abuses of Section 215 authority, including
Congressional oversight, procedural protections, application
requirements, and judicial review.
  Section 6001 of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act
of 2004 amends the definition of ``agent of a foreign power'' to
include ``lone wolf'' terrorists who are non-U.S. persons engaged in
international terrorism, regardless of whether they are affiliated with
an international terrorist group. When FISA was originally enacted in
the 1970s, terrorists were more commonly members of an identified
group. That is not the case today. Many modern-day terrorists may
subscribe to a movement but do not subscribe to a specific group and
often act alone. It is imperative that such an out-dated definition
does not impede our ability to gather intelligence about perhaps the
most dangerous terrorists operating today.
  Madam Speaker, America is fortunate to not have suffered a terrorist
attack on our soil in over seven years. But we must not let our safety
become complacency. America is safe today not because terrorists and
spies have given up their mission to destroy our freedoms and our way
of life. America is safe today because the men and women of the
intelligence community work tirelessly to protect us. It would be
irresponsible of Congress to take away the authorities needed to their
job. The threat to America from terrorists, spies, and enemy nations
will not sunset at the end of this year. Neither should America's anti-
terrorism laws.