Modified FISA bill moves forward

by | Apr 12, 2024

The House Rules Committee has pushed forward a revised edition of a federal surveillance extension (FISA), intensifying pressure on Republicans to set aside recent internal discord and approve the legislation before its scheduled expiration next week.

Thursday, lawmakers convened in several closed-door meetings to deliberate on a contingency plan, which would entail a two-year sunset provision and a separate vote on an amendment proposed by Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH).

The committee pushed forward a fresh proposal to renew Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act in a late-night session on Thursday, incorporating numerous provisions to garner support from a significant faction of hard-line conservatives. The bill is slated to proceed to the floor for discussion early Friday morning, with a final vote anticipated later in the day.

Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) explained to reporters that the Wednesday vote was influenced by resistance to the warrant requirements, leading the 19 members who voted against the rule to “pump the brakes.” He mentioned that colleagues are still in the process of understanding the new provisions and crafting potential amendments before the bill advances to the House floor.

Roy emphasized that securing a two-year sunset on FISA and a separate vote on Davidson's Fourth Amendment is Not For Sale Act provided “greater comfort” to lawmakers who opposed the rule.

The two-year sunset provision holds particular appeal for Republicans, especially those anticipating a potential FISA reauthorization under President Trump if he wins the 2024 election. Roy noted, “The two-year time frame is a much better landing spot because it gives us two years to see: Is any of this working? Rather than kicking it out five years.”

However, The adjustments made to satisfy some of the most staunch Republicans may lead other GOP lawmakers to reassess their positions.

Source: The Washington Examiner

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