FISA Reauthorization Passes In House Despite GOP ‘Revolt’

Update (1310ET): The FISA bill has passed by a vote of 273-147 without the Biggs amendment which would have required the federal government to obtain warrants.

As noted earlier, all of the initial holdouts flipped their vote to move the bill forward this morning – after the length of reauthorization was shortened from five years to two, and an agreement to bring Rep. Warren Davidson’s (R-OH) Fourth Amendment is Not For Sale Act to the floor sometime next week in a stand-alone vote – which would require the government to obtain a warrant before purchasing information about US citizens from data brokers (but not in general).

“The two-year timeframe is a much better landing spot because it gives us two years to see if any of this works rather than kicking it out five years,” said Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX). “They say these reforms are going to work. Well, I guess we’ll find out.”

Ahem:

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Update (1245ET): The ‘Biggs’ amendment, which would have required warrants as part of FISA, has failed following a tiedvote of 212-212.

As Edward Snowden said earlier in the day, “𝗜𝗙 𝗧𝗛𝗘 𝗕𝗜𝗚𝗚𝗦 𝗔𝗠𝗘𝗡𝗗𝗠𝗘𝗡𝗧 𝗙𝗔𝗜𝗟𝗦, they must VOTE DOWN the whole bill (“Let 702 lapse”).”

Meanwhile, the White House…

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The House advanced a new version of a bill to reauthorize American’s use of warrantless surveillance, opening the measure up for debate, amendments, and a final floor vote after a previous iteration of the bill was blocked Republicans.

Rep. Barry Moore (D-AL) advocates for warrants as part of FISA.

On Friday, House lawmakers voted 213-208 to advance the modified legislation, just days after 19 Republicans joined all Democrats in voting against advancing the original version of the bill to the floor.

Now, all of the initial holdouts flipped their vote to move the bill forward – after the length of reauthorization was shortened from five years to two, and an agreement to bring Rep. Warren Davidson’s (R-OH) Fourth Amendment is Not For Sale Act to the floor sometime next week in a stand-alone vote – which would require the government to obtain a warrant before purchasing information about US citizens from data brokers.

Edward Snowden also encouraged followers to vote for the “Biggs Amendment,” which requires the government to obtain a warrant in general (not just when purchasing from data brokers), and against the “HSPCI Amendments,” which “EXPAND mass surveillance instead of reforming it.”

Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) speaks to reporters as he arrives for the House Republican Leadership Elections on Tuesday, November 15, 2022.

Snowden says that if the Biggs amendment fails, the whole thing needs to be killed with fire.

And of course, the White House is against the Biggs amendment to force the government to obtain a warrant…

Section 702 of FISA allows for the warrantless surveillance of foreigners outside of the US – which allows the government to sweep up communications from Americans who are interacting with individuals who are being spied on.

The ‘Biggs Amendment’ would add a warrant requirement before the government can review information collected on Americans.

Biggs and Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) got into a massive battle over the bill on X, with Biggs accusing Crenshaw of having “aligned yourself with the DC Cartel that insists on spying on Americans and violating the Bill of Rights.”

Check back for updates…

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