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IPFS News Link • FISA

Conservatives vow to vote against reauthorizing FISA without including warrant requirement

•, By Nicholas Ballasy

Conservative lawmakers are calling for an end to warrantless surveillance of Americans ahead of a House floor vote on Wednesday to reauthorize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

The bill, titled the "Reforming Intelligence and Securing America Act," would extend section 702 of FISA, which "authorizes the targeted collection of foreign intelligence information from non-U.S. persons located abroad," according to the FBI.

Conservative Republicans and some Democrats such as Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, have teamed up to push for a warrant requirement as a condition for reauthorizing FISA. However, the legislation up for a vote on Wednesday does not include a warrant requirement in its current form. 

"No matter how hard the deep state cries, Congress must NOT reauthorize FISA 702 without requiring a warrant to search U.S. citizens," wrote Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, on X.

"The SAFE Act contains a warrant requirement, the Lee-Leahy reforms, language ensuring that our Fourth Amendment rights can't be bought and sold, and a handful of other protections necessary to protect Americans' privacy," he also wrote.

Co-sponsors of the SAFE Act to whom Lee was referring include Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., previously introduced an amendment to prohibit warrantless surveillance under FISA, which wasn't voted on since FISA was extended through April 19 without reform in the defense bill.

"Requiring the federal government to obtain a warrant for U.S. persons searches will not threaten national security. It will protect Americans' privacy. Get a warrant," Biggs wrote on his X account. Biggs is doubtful there will be an opportunity to debate a similar amendment on the House floor to require a warrant.

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