"As a soldier and member of both the Homeland Security Committee as well as the Armed Services Committee, I cannot support legislation that hampers important security tools implemented as a part of our original counter-terrorism approach.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) released the following statement after voting against passage of the USA Freedom Act:

“As a soldier and member of both the Homeland Security Committee as well as the Armed Services Committee, I cannot support legislation that hampers important security tools implemented as a part of our original counter-terrorism approach. 

“During this important debate, I supported a short-term extension of the expiring PATRIOT Act provisions which are critical to the safety and security of our country.

“I have expressed my serious concerns over delegating responsibility solely to telephone companies. The USA Freedom Act fails to detail how long telephone companies are required to keep metadata records, and there are uncertainties about process delays in the transfer of information from telecom to the federal government. We can and must do better to protect the privacy and security of all Americans.

“America cannot afford the potential for systemic and long-term intelligence gaps. This approach undercuts protections previously put in place and opens the door for a false sense of security at such a critical time in the fight against terrorism.”

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