House Reauthorizes Controversial FISA Spying Bill

House Reauthorizes Controversial FISA Spying Bill

Daniel Molina
Daniel Molina
April 12, 2024

After a week of Republican infighting, the House has reauthorized the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Dissenters rallied against warrantless surveillance of Americans, but the vote to reauthorize the program resulted in a 273-147 vote in favor of continuing the program.

Dissenters pointed at a portion of the law called Section 702. This allows U.S. authorities to surveil communications of foreigners outside the United States. The surveillance is collected in a database and authorities are then able to search it without a warrant. However, because those foreigners are often in contact with Americans, domestic data also becomes part of the surveillance collection.

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R) called the bill a reform package that would address abuses of the tool, pointing to the FBI. After a vote that rejected an amendment to expand surveillance in more situations, a new deal was struck, cutting the reauthorization from five years to two years.

Commenting on the deal, Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz (R), who voted against continuing the program, said that the vote would give "President Trump an at bat."

“The previous version of this bill would have kicked reauthorization beyond the Trump presidency. Now President Trump gets an at bat to fix the system that victimized him more than any other American.”

The following lawmakers from Arizona, Florida, and Texas voted in favor of reauthorizing the surveillance program:

Arizona Rep. Juan Ciscomani (R).

Florida Reps. Vern Buchanan (R), Kathy Castor (D), Mario Diaz-Balart (R), Lois Frankel (D), Scott Franklin (R), Carlos Gimenez (R), Laurel Lee (R), Jared Moskowitz (D), John Rutherford (R), Maria Elvira Salazar (R), Darren Soto (R), Mike Waltz (R), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D), Daniel Webster (R), and Frederica Wilson (D).

Texas Reps. Colin Allred (D), Michael Burgess (R), John Carter (R), Dan Crenshaw (R), Jasmine Crockett (D), Henry Cuellar (D), Monica De La Cruz (R), Jake Ellzey (R), Veronica Escobar (D), Lizzie Fletcher (D), Tony Gonzales (R), Vicente Gonzales (D), Kay Granger (R), Al Green (D), Ronny Jackson (R), Michael McCaul (R), Nathaniel Moran (R), August Pfluger (R), Pete Sessions (R), Marc Veasey (D), and Roger Williams (R).

After the vote, Speaker Johnson announced that he would be traveling to Mar-a-Lago to meet with President Donald Trump (R). Both are scheduled to host a press conference on election integrity.

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Daniel Molina

Daniel Molina

Daniel Molina was the Opinion Editor of his high school’s newspaper, and he was also Editor-in-Chief of Miami Dade College’s Urbana literary and arts magazine wherein he also won the 2013 FCSAA Best Fiction Story in the State of Florida Award. He’s currently pursuing his Bachelor’s in English Literature. Hobbies in his free time include reading, writing and watching films and basketball.

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