Amendment in GOP-House’s FISA Renewal Bill for Warrant Requirement Fails in Tie Vote, 212-212

by Nicholas Ballasy


A bipartisan warrant requirement amendment to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act section 702 renewal bill failed to pass in a tie vote of 212-212 on the House floor on Friday.

The amendment would have prohibited “warrantless searches of U.S. person communications in the FISA 702 database, with exceptions for imminent threats to life or bodily harm, consent searches, or known cybersecurity threat signatures.”

A separate amendment that would enable the use of Section 702 information to “vet foreigners traveling to the United States” passed.

The FISA reauthorization bill cleared a procedural hurdle after the rule allowing consideration of the legislation passed on the floor in the morning 213-208.

If the bill passes, it would renew FISA section 702 for 2 years as opposed to the original 5-year period.

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner, R-Ohio, urged a no vote on the warrant requirement amendment, arguing that it would hinder U.S. authorities from collecting intelligence on terrorist groups to prevent attacks in the U.S.

“You would have to have evidence of a crime that is occurring in order to get that warrant, which means we’ll be blind. The moment that this becomes law we will be blind and will be unable to look at what Hezbollah is doing in the United States, what Hamas is doing in the United States, and what the Chinese Communist Party is doing in the United States,” said Turner on the House floor.

The warrant requirement amendment passed in an initial voice vote on the House floor and a recorded vote was requested. The final recorded votes on the amendment was postponed while lawmakers debated the other proposed amendments to the bill.

Other members like Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., and Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., said the warrant requirement would provide Fourth Amendment protection to Americans.

Biggs said that constitutional protections do not apply to suspected terrorists so the warrant requirement would only apply to “U.S. person queries” of the section 702 database. 

Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, also said he supports the warrant requirement amendment. 

“Massie amounts of Americans’ communications are still swept up in section 702 searches,” Nadler said. 

He noted that a report in 2023 found that U.S. law enforcement abused FISA section 702 more about 278,000 times over a period of sever years.

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Nicholas Ballasy has been breaking news for more than a decade in the nation’s capital and questioning political leaders about the most pressing issues facing the nation. Since 2008, Ballasy has interviewed former President Bill Clinton, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, former President Donald Trump, Sen. Mitt Romney, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. John McCain, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Vice President Al Gore, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and more.


Reprinted with permission from Just the News

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