Firstly, I would like to thank you for taking the time to read this letter, as I know you are a very busy woman. My 15 year old son and I have a small bath and body business which is a part of the Art Is In Market store you visited, at the Mall of Partridge Creek. Two weeks ago, we were featured by the Proud to Manufacture in Michigan organization, who sent you a copy of their newsletter letting you know we are in your district and telling you a bit about our company. We have had the honor of representing our home state of Michigan in the swag bags at the Oscars, Golden Globe, and Emmy Awards, and have always done so with pride. I was quite disappointed on Saturday to be asked by you, with a full display of our products right by the checkout area, where to find the **** store in the mall. I thought you were joking at first, since I had my company tag around my neck and you had looked at our products when you were in the store. I was shocked that instead of supporting a Michigan based company in your district, you chose to support a company that is not only not from Michigan, but is not even American. **** is based in the United Kingdom.
I am not naive enough to think that everyone who represents our state only buys products made here, nor do I expect everyone to love our products. Though I have to say, to have you come into a store of Michigan artists and ask the local bath and body manufacturer where to buy items from their UK competitor, was stinging. I truly hope you realize that you disappointed not only me, but my son as well. I honestly hope you will choose Michigan made next time.
Laura Bisel, CEO
Skylar Bisel, Creative Director
Bizzy Fizz Bath Treats
Thank you for contacting me regarding domestic surveillance by the National Security Agency (NSA). I appreciate hearing from you on this issue, and I am pleased for the opportunity to respond to your concerns.
As you may know, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978 ensures that United States intelligence agencies remain capable of conducting electronic surveillance operations. This has long been one of the United States' most effective tools in intercepting and thwarting planned acts of terrorism. The original law created a process for electronically monitoring and collecting intelligence-sensitive information of foreign targets that were in communication with people in the United States. It also created a court that would approve or deny search warrants. FISA has been modified over the years, and the current law provides surveillance capabilities under the close guidance of the FISA Court and with oversight from Congress.
The Constitution makes the first responsibility of the federal government to provide for our common defense. As Vice Chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, matters of national security are of the utmost importance to me, and in order to fulfill the oath I take each term in Congress I must make every legal effort to protect American citizens. America continues to be at risk from foreign terrorists working with their allies inside our country to inflict harm on our nation. Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the federal government has taken many steps to restructure the tools available to the intelligence community and law enforcement to better focus them on the threats we face from terrorism. At the same time, Congress and the courts are working to make certain that our intelligence-gathering methods do not infringe on the civil liberties guaranteed by the Constitution for law-abiding citizens. I firmly believe that protecting personal privacy and security online is vitally important. With millions of people using the internet to do online banking, shopping, social networking and more, protecting online security becomes more crucial every day. As the internet becomes a more intricate part of our lives, it is imperative that we take the proper steps to ensure that the privacy of users stays secure.
Recent revelations of some of our most vital and closely-held national secrets by a contractor working with the NSA, in what I believe was a traitorous act, has made the job of protecting our nation more difficult. Already, American intelligence officials are seeing changes in the behavior of some terrorist groups to evade our efforts to stop their planned attacks. The primary program revealed by this person is credited with stopping over 50 planned terrorist attacks on American citizens, including a plot to explode suicide bombs on the New York City subway and another to blow up the New York Stock Exchange. If just these two attacks had succeeded, hundreds or perhaps thousands of our fellow citizens would have lost their lives, and untold damage would have been inflicted on our national economy.
Beginning with the 9/11 attacks, we have seen that the terrorist enemies of America will use the tools of our freedom in their attempts to murder our fellow citizens. On 9/11, the terrorists used our immigration system, our education system, our telephone system, the internet and our system of civilian travel to carry out their heinous acts. Unfortunately, similar efforts continue today, and the federal government has a responsibility to try and thwart those attacks and defend our citizens within the parameters of the Constitution.
As a result, we must be mindful to protect the rights of American citizens to the greatest extent possible while at the same time utilizing every resource at our disposal to promote national security. I am confident that the programs in question do protect the Constitutional rights of law abiding American citizens while also giving powerful tools to stop foreign terrorists and their supporters from attacking our citizens here at home and abroad. Please rest assured I am closely monitoring this issue, and I will keep your concerns in mind should any related legislation be brought to the floor of the House of Representatives for a vote.
Again, thank you for your correspondence. If you have any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me. If you would like to stay up to date on issues in Congress and how they affect you, please sign up to receive my e-newsletter, The Washington Connection, at candicemiller.house.gov. It has all the information you need about current events in our nation's capital and their impact on Michigan's 10th Congressional District.
MEMBER OF CONGRESS