December 08, 2023

Wyden Votes Against Reauthorizing Warrantless Surveillance as Part of Massive Military Policy Bill

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., opposed reauthorizing warrantless government surveillance of Americans as part of the National Defence Authorization Act (NDAA), in a procedural vote today. 

A four-month extension of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was added to the NDAA without a vote or debate. Wyden and bipartisan members of Congress have pushed for years to reform that surveillance authority, which has been abused to allow warrantless searches for a U.S. Senator, a member of Congress, and a state court judge, among others. 

“Americans know they don’t have to sacrifice their liberty to have security. They want policies that give them both, debated in the light of day,” Wyden said. “I cannot support reauthorizing warrantless surveillance of Americans’ communications without significant reforms and improvements to protect the Constitutional rights of people in Oregon and across the nation. I have introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation to reauthorize this surveillance authority with significant new protections for Americans’ rights.”

Although Wyden voted against the NDAA today, he supports a number of provisions within the massive military policy bill. He praised the inclusion of $105 million for an Oregon National Guard special tactics complex in Portland and readiness center in Washington County ($7.5 million more than was included in an earlier version of the bill), as well as a 5.2% pay increase for servicemembers - the largest military pay raise in 20 years.