86 Republicans Vote To Allow Warrantless Spying Of Americans With FISA

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Zack Brave Capitol Hill Reporter
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Eighty-six House Republicans voted against an amendment to the FISA reauthorization bill which would have added a warrant requirement to prevent the U.S. government from spying on Americans without their knowledge.

The vote tally on the amendment, introduced by Republican Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs, was 212-212, with House Speaker Mike Johnson casting the tiebreaker vote against it. Among the Republicans who voted for the legislation without Biggs’ amendment are Johnson, Majority Leader Steve Scalise, Majority Whip Tom Emmer and Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw.

The House ultimately voted to renew the 2-year reauthorization bill without Biggs’ amendment Friday, 273-147, but not without a last-minute procedural hurdle introduced by Republican Florida Rep. Anna Paulina Luna. In doing so, the congresswoman helped delay a final vote until Monday.

“Today is a dark day for America,” Texas Republican Rep. Troy Nehls said in a statement. “It is no secret that the DOJ and the FBI have used and abused FISA to spy on not only the greatest president of my lifetime, Donald J. Trump, but spy on everyday Americans. I could not, in good conscience, vote to give our nation’s weaponized DOJ the power to mass surveil the American people without significant reforms, such as a warrant requirement.”


Numerous conservative Republicans blasted their party and Democrats following the bill’s passage, with Republican Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert arguing the legislation would allow the “deep state to violate Americans’ Fourth Amendment rights.”

Republican Reps. Thomas Massie and Chip Roy also took shots at their colleagues.

Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president, publicly opposed the bill Wednesday, pointing to its illegal use against him and others during his campaign.

After Trump’s public disapproval, Republicans in the House voted down a procedural vote to advance the legislation for a final passage. However, after winning many concessions from leadership during Thursday’s negotiations, Republicans agreed to advance the bill. The revised bill now includes a two-year extension of Section 702 of FISA, a change from the original five-year plan.

Read the full text of the bill here.

FISA, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, recently grabbed headlines nationwide after conservatives pointed to the intelligence community’s illegal surveillance of then-candidate Donald Trump’s campaign during the 2016 election. This surveillance, authorized by FISA, has been criticized for its role in perpetuating the “Russiagate” hoax against Trump’s presidency. (RELATED:‘About To Combust’: Republicans Have Golden Opportunity To End Spying On Americans — But It’s Tearing Them Apart)

In some last minue procedural drama Friday afternoon, Luna yelled out “I object” as Republican Rep. Jake Ellzey attampted to gavel out the vote. Rep. Laurel Lee of Florida then immediately offered a motion to reconsider the vote, however House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner offered a motion to table the motion to reconsider, thus delaying the final vote on the FISA bill without Biggs’ amendment until Monday.

The FISA bill will be unable to move to the Senate until that vote happens, even though it passed through the House.