The Joe Pags Show

The Joe Pags Show

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House Republicans Divided Over FISA Reauthorization Amendment

In a dramatic turn of events on Capitol Hill, the House of Representatives witnessed a stark divide among Republicans over an amendment to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) reauthorization bill. The amendment, proposed by Republican Arizona Representative Andy Biggs, aimed to introduce a warrant requirement to prevent the U.S. government from conducting surveillance on Americans without their knowledge. However, the amendment faced stiff opposition from within the Republican ranks, ultimately leading to its defeat in a tiebreaker vote cast by House Speaker Mike Johnson.

The vote tally on Biggs’ amendment stood at 212-212, with prominent Republicans such as Majority Leader Steve Scalise, Majority Whip Tom Emmer, and Texas Representative Dan Crenshaw siding against it. This decision sparked criticism from within the party, with some Republicans expressing concerns over potential violations of Americans’ Fourth Amendment rights.

Texas Representative Troy Nehls condemned the move, labeling it a “dark day for America” and highlighting past instances of abuse of FISA by the Department of Justice and the FBI. He argued that significant reforms, including a warrant requirement, were necessary to prevent the mass surveillance of the American people.

Following the passage of the FISA reauthorization bill without Biggs’ amendment by a vote of 273-147, several conservative Republicans voiced their discontent. Colorado Representative Lauren Boebert warned that the legislation would empower the “deep state” to violate citizens’ rights, echoing concerns raised by fellow Republicans Thomas Massie and Chip Roy.

Former President Donald Trump, a vocal critic of FISA, publicly opposed the bill, citing its previous misuse against him and others during his presidential campaign. His opposition influenced Republican House members, who initially voted against advancing the legislation but later agreed to do so after securing concessions from leadership during negotiations.

The revised bill extends Section 702 of FISA for two years, a departure from the original five-year plan. FISA, which came under scrutiny in recent years due to its role in authorizing surveillance of Trump’s campaign during the 2016 election, has been a contentious issue within conservative circles.

In a twist of procedural drama, Republican Florida Representative Anna Paulina Luna intervened, delaying the final vote on the FISA bill without Biggs’ amendment until Monday. Her objection prompted further maneuvers on the House floor, prolonging the legislative process. Despite passing through the House, the FISA bill faces uncertainty in the Senate until the delayed vote occurs.

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