Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate: H.R. 5949, FISA Amendments Act Reauthorization Act of 2012   [open pdf - 21KB]

"H.R. 5949 would extend the authority of the federal government to conduct surveillance pursuant to the FISA [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] Amendments Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-261). Because CBO [Congressional Budget Office] does not provide cost estimates for classified programs, this estimate addresses only the budgetary effects on unclassified programs affected by the bill. On that basis, CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 5949 would have no significant cost to the federal government. Enacting the bill could affect direct spending and revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. However, CBO estimates that any effects would be insignificant for each year. The FISA Amendments Act of 2008 clarified the authority of the federal government to surveil and intercept communications of certain persons located outside the United States. H.R. 5949 would extend the provisions of that act by five years (otherwise they expire after December 31, 2012). As a result, the government might be able to prosecute criminal cases that it otherwise would not be able to pursue. CBO expects that H.R. 5949 would apply to a relatively small number of additional offenders, however, so any increase in costs for law enforcement, court proceedings, or prison operations would not be significant. Any such costs would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds."

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