WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich, who serves on the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, issued the following statement on the news that the federal government has collected the phone records of millions of Americans:
"The large scale collection of information regarding innocent Americans' telephone calls is deeply troubling. It reinforces my ongoing concerns about the broad powers granted by the PATRIOT Act that allow federal law enforcement to secretly gather information about citizens' everyday activities.
"I believe we can balance national security and individual liberties. As a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, I will continue to make clear that I expect our Intelligence Community to act not just within the letter of the law, but to respect Americans' expectations of privacy.
"The President has made several statements about the importance of transparency in the pursuit of terrorists; this is an opportunity for the administration to demonstrate that transparency and explain to the American people what information about them is being swept up and how it's being used."