[Congressional Record Volume 158, Number 163 (Tuesday, December 18, 2012)]
[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 
  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 

     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 
       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. 
       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.
     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 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oklahoma.