Senator Chuck Grassley, Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, made the following statement after the committee’s oversight hearing of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. During the hearing Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said that the country may not be as safe because of the partial shutdown of the federal government.
“What immediately concerns me are press reports indicating that 70 percent of the intelligence community has been furloughed while Director Clapper says that the country may not be as safe because of the partial government shutdown. Failing to provide for the national security of the United States is not an option. My reading of the statute guiding the furloughs provides the flexibility for our national security community to ensure that the country is, in fact, just as safe during this temporary partial shutdown. If Director Clapper’s testimony is accurate, he owes it to the American people to either make sure he is appropriately applying the law, or he should press President Obama to ask Congress to pass legislation that can quickly clear the House and Senate that funds the national security community immediately.”