WASHINGTON (Sept. 13, 2016) – A coalition consisting of the R Street Institute, Demand Progress, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and FreedomWorks has jointly released a report featuring a series of recommendations to restore Congress’ primacy in overseeing America’s intelligence community. In conjunction with the report, a coalition of 33 organizations also sent a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

Zach Graves, R Street Institute:

“Voting on the rules is the first substantive decision in each new Congress. The rules package determines how the House of Representatives works: whether it reflects the views and interests of the broader membership or embodies the narrow perspectives of a select few. This is an opportunity for members of the House to restore the legislative branch’s role in setting national security policy and checking executive overreach.”

Daniel Schuman, Demand Progress:

“Congress must level the playing field with the president and exercise its constitutional obligation to oversee the executive branch’s conduct of intelligence activities. These reforms will empower the House of Representatives to act as a meaningful check on the executive branch, instead of writing blank checks.”

Lee Tien, Electronic Frontier Foundation:

“We call on the House of Representatives to reinvigorate its commitment to provide a meaningful check on executive-branch actions and reform how it conducts oversight over intelligence matters.”

Wayne Brough, FreedomWorks:

“Our founders built a system of checks and balances to avoid the excesses of government. Congress has a key role to play balancing the power of the executive branch. Unfortunately, with respect to intelligence activities, Congress has failed to do so. These reforms provide Congress the tools for more effective oversight and a more transparent approach to assessing the executive branch’s actions.”

A video summary of the issue can be found HERE.

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