FISA Renewal Bill Held Up On Procedural Vote

Division within the House Republican conference is jeopardizing the ongoing ability of the federal government to keep tabs on potential threats from adversaries through the renewal of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA.

Wednesday, April 10th 2024, 10:27 pm



-

Division within the House Republican conference is jeopardizing the ongoing ability of the federal government to keep tabs on potential threats from adversaries through the renewal of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA.

The portion of FISA that authorizes the surveillance of foreign persons outside of the U.S., Section 702, expires April 19 and Wednesday the Republican-controlled House was unable to come together to pass a rule to bring a proposed extension and reform of Section 702 to the floor.

"So, by defeating the rule, I can’t vote on making FISA better,” said Rep. Frank Lucas(R-OK3) in an interview. “I’m disappointed."

In the House, rules set the terms for debate on a particular bill or series of bills — how long the debate will last, which amendments will be considered, etcetera — and need just a simple majority to pass. Until this Congress, the majority’s ability to pass a rule was a non-event and taken for granted, but the current GOP majority has found it increasingly difficult to muster the unity to pass a rule. 

"Look, we’re going to have disagreements in this chamber, and we’re going to have disagreements within the conference,” said Rep. Stephanie Bice (R-OK5), “but not being able to have a robust, transparent discussion in front of the American people to articulate the reasons why this is so crucial, i think is incredibly disappointing."

Most agree that extending 702 authority is necessary, but with reforms -- many included in this bill -- to restrict law enforcement's ability to sweep up the data of Americans at the same time it's spying on foreigners.

"Those are reforms that will ensure that some of the things that we’ve seen happen over the last several years never happen again,” Bice said in an interview Wednesday. “Americans should not be spied on by our own FBI or others."

But 19 Republicans, feeling the reforms don't go far enough, and urged on by former President Trump to “KILL FISA,” joined with Democrats is defeating the rule, frustrating members like Frank Lucas.

"There are people throughout the world, not just in the Middle East, Russia, China, and Iran,” said Lucas, “who really want to hurt us and hurt our citizens at every available opportunity. This is how we figure out what they’re trying to do before they do it."

logo

Get The Daily Update!

Be among the first to get breaking news, weather, and general news updates from News on 6 delivered right to your inbox!

More Like This

April 10th, 2024

April 1st, 2024

March 4th, 2024

February 14th, 2024

Top Headlines

May 23rd, 2024

May 23rd, 2024

May 23rd, 2024

May 23rd, 2024