Conservatives renew call for FISA reform without warrantless surveillance of U.S. citizens

The short-term extension of the controversial federal government surveillance program expires in April

Published: February 13, 2024 2:59pm

Updated: February 13, 2024 3:01pm

House conservatives are renewing their call for an end to the warrantless surveillance of Americans as Congress considers reforming Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

The short-term extension of the controversial federal government surveillance program expires April 19.

"Under no circumstance should the federal government spy on the American people without a warrant! Congress shouldn't waste its time on meaningless FISA 'reform' but work to abolish this unconstitutional abuse of power!" wrote Rep. Matt Rosendale, R-Mont., Monday on X.

Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., said this will be a "big week for FISA reform" in Congress.

"The FBI has abused FISA 702 hundreds of thousands of times to spy on American citizens – including a U.S. congressman and political donors.  Our intel community must have a warrant for all U.S. person searches," he wrote Monday on X.

Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., said on Tuesday that the House this week will vote on whether the U.S. government must obtain a warrant to "search for your private communications that are collected in the digital dragnet used to surveil foreigners."

"This landmark vote will show which members faithfully uphold the Constitution," Massie said.

The House Rules Committee released a FISA reform bill on Monday that CATO Institute Senior Fellow Patrick Eddington said would continue the warrantless surveillance of Americans.

"Its backers will no doubt try to sell it as a genuine reform measure. In reality, it’s an example of the classic Capitol Hill game of ‘Let’s not, but say we did,’" Eddington said.

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