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House lawmakers who voted for failed warrant requirement will have second chance to stop FISA bill

House Speaker Mike Johnson was among the 86 Republicans who voted Friday against including a bipartisan warrant mandate amendment in the bill to renew FISA's controversial Section 702 surveillance program

Published: April 12, 2024 11:00pm

Updated: April 13, 2024 8:41am

The 212 House lawmakers who voted in favor of the warrant requirement that failed to pass will have a second chance to stop the bill to renew the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act's (FISA) controversial Section 702 surveillance program, which passed out of the chamber on Friday.

House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., was among the 86 Republicans who voted against including the bipartisan warrant mandate amendment in the bill to renew FISA through 2026.

The amendment to end warrantless surveillance failed to pass in a tie vote of 212-212 on the House floor. It would have prohibited "warrantless searches of U.S. person communications in the FISA 702 database, with exceptions for imminent threats to life or bodily harm, consent searches, or known cybersecurity threat signatures."

The FISA reauthorization bill without the warrant requirement ultimately passed 273-147 on Friday.

Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas., took to the social media platform X to inform the public that the fight over FISA isn't finished yet.

"BREAKING: It’s not over. There will be ONE more vote on Monday on a reconsideration of FISA in the U.S. House," Roy wrote. "The bill should be stopped because it lacks warrant protection for Americans - thanks to 86 Republicans & 126 Democrats who killed the warrant."

Roy said the 278,000 times federal law enforcement abused the section 702 database is proof a warrant is needed. "This is not that hard," Roy said on the House floor. "If you want to go after an American, if you want to look at their information, get a warrant."

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, was reportedly on the House floor to witness the vote. After the warrant amendment failed, Lee posted on X that "literally every member of the House who opposed that amendment made the difference between failure and passage."

Lee also wrote that FISA "can’t save us from the national-security threats of an open border" and a "warrant requirement wouldn’t destroy the national-security benefits of FISA."

Reacting to the passage of the bill without the warrant amendment, Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., said that "the Uniparty just voted to allow the Deep State to violate your Fourth Amendment rights and spy on millions of Americans for two more years." She noted that Rep. Anna Paulina Luna, R-Fla., "forced an additional procedural vote to stop them."

Former President Trump had called on the House GOP to "kill FISA" on Wednesday. After that, 19 Republicans had blocked the bill from advancing by voting against the rule providing for formal House floor consideration of the bill. Johnson, who voted against the warrant amendment and in favor of the FISA renewal bill, met with Trump on Friday at Mar-a-Lago. The two held a joint news conference focused on election integrity after the House passed the bill. The press conference touched upon other topics including FISA.

Trump was asked if he supported the FISA reauthorization bill. "I'm not a big fan of FISA. I look at it and I studied and I know it probably better than anybody. You know, they spied on my campaign," Trump said. "I said, 'you do what you want' but I'm not a big fan of FISA."

Trump said some "checks and balances" were added to the FISA renewal bill text but he repeated that he still isn't a "big fan" of the legislation. 

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