Letters to the Editor

Rep. Carbajal explains why he missed vote on Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act

Salud Carbajal
Salud Carbajal Joe Johnston

A Jan. 24 letter to the editor noted that I was not present to vote on the FISA Section 702 Mass Surveillance Program.

I did not take lightly the need to miss a vote on the controversial reauthorization of the FISA 702 program. However, when the Montecito mudslide devastated homes and claimed lives on the Central Coast, I made the decision to return home early from the legislative week to be present and to assist the community in the early stages of recovery.

Had I been present, I would not have voted to reauthorize the 702 program in its current form. I would have supported the previous vote on the Amash amendment to pass the USA Rights Act, which if passed, would have implemented necessary reforms and protections for the privacy of American citizens. This legislation would require intelligence agencies to obtain a warrant based on probable cause before searching databases containing Section 702 information for Americans’ communications, closing the so-called “backdoor search loophole.” I made sure to include my intended votes into the official Congressional Record so that they are recorded for the public.

I know we may sometimes disagree, but it is always my goal to represent the Central Coast in constructive and accessible way. Please call or write my office anytime I can be of service.

Rep. Salud Carbajal, Santa Barbara