Trump Wants Spy Bill FISA Killed as Congress Takes Up Renewal

( – Former President Donald Trump has made his stance clear on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), boldly calling for its end with a resounding “kill FISA” amidst Speaker Mike Johnson’s push to renew the controversial surveillance law.

Trump, in his characteristic fashion, took to social media to decry what he perceives as the unlawful use of FISA, particularly against himself and others, alleging, “They spied on my campaign!!!”

At the crux of the issue lies Section 702 of FISA, a provision intended to target foreign adversaries but often criticized for infringing upon the privacy rights of American citizens. Johnson, a Republican from Louisiana, is leading efforts in the House to reauthorize this contentious section.

At this point, the House is poised for a pivotal debate and vote on the rule governing the process for considering the Reforming Intelligence and Securing America Act (RISAA), the legislation to renew Section 702. Both privacy advocates and lawmakers from across the political spectrum, including Judiciary Committee heavyweights Jim Jordan and Jerry Nadler, are advocating for a crucial amendment: a warrant requirement to safeguard citizens’ privacy.

However, Johnson issued a stern warning, cautioning that failure to pass RISAA could prompt the Senate to push through a clean reauthorization of FISA unilaterally. He contends that such a scenario would jeopardize national security, leaving essential surveillance tools uncertain.

The internal battle within the Republican Party adds another layer of complexity to the issue. With a narrow one-vote majority in the House, Johnson encounters resistance from within his own party. Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida has vowed to oppose the rule, demanding amendments to address perceived flaws in FISA. Gaetz’s stance underscores the internal divisions and obstacles Johnson must navigate in advancing the legislation.

Further complicating matters, Representative John Rose of Tennessee condemns the reauthorization efforts, arguing that they trample on Fourth Amendment rights. Rose has proposed amendments to enhance transparency and accountability, yet they were not included in the bill. His frustration echoes broader concerns about the surveillance program’s lack of oversight and accountability.

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