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Video: House GOP gives gov’t ‘permission to spy’ on Americans without a warrant

The U.S. Capitol Building. (Dreamstime/TNS)
April 12, 2024

The U.S. House of Representatives voted Friday to reauthorize Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which allows the federal government to monitor foreign nationals. House Republicans narrowly voted against an amendment that would have required federal government agencies to obtain a warrant before conducting searches on American citizens.

Fox News reported that the FISA reauthorization legislation would allow the federal government to continue monitoring foreign terror suspects without warrants. FISA also allows the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to access a suspect’s communications, which can lead to the FBI monitoring the communications of American citizens without a warrant.

To protect Americans from being targeted by the FBI, the House Judiciary Committee supported an amendment by Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) that would have required intelligence agencies to obtain a warrant before accessing the data of American citizens under the FISA system.

According to Fox News, the Arizona Republican’s amendment failed in a vote of 212-212, with House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) casting the deciding vote against the measure intended to protect American citizens from FISA abuses.

READ MORE: Video: Biden admin opposes limits to spying on Americans

Following Friday’s vote, multiple conservative lawmakers criticized Johnson for voting against the amendment.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) told reporters Friday, “We’re very disappointed that when we sent Mike Johnson away from the Judiciary Committee, he departed from some of the views that he held deeply and views that, frankly, he was more eloquent in expressing than even I was.”

End Wokeness tweeted a list of the 86 Republican lawmakers who joined 126 Democrats to “give Biden permission to spy” on American citizens without obtaining a warrant.

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) expressed her opposition to the FISA reauthorization without the amendment protection, tweeting, “The Uniparty just voted to allow the Deep State to violate your Fourth Amendment rights and spy on millions of Americans for two more years.”

In a video message on social media, Sen. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.) said, “Not a good day for democracy. FISA has passed currently through the House. The amendment that would have stopped warrantless searches on Americans… it did not pass, so warrantless searches will continue.”

According to Fox News, members of the House Freedom Caucus were able to temporarily block the bill from being sent to the Senate on Friday. The outlet noted that after the bill was passed, Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-Fla.) raised a procedural objection to the final vote count, which will force the House to reconsider the passage of the FISA reauthorization on Monday before the Senate votes on the bill.

Currently, without the reauthorization of Section 702 by both the House and the Senate, FISA is set to expire on April 19.