Heinrich Statement On House FISA Reauthorization Vote

  • Heinrich Statement On House FISA Reauthorization Vote

Heinrich Statement On House FISA Reauthorization Vote

The vote came hours after the House voted 256 to 164 to approve the legislation and is a sign that lawmakers intend to move swiftly to pass the measure before the program's statutory authority expires January 19.

Americans cannot be the subject of 702 surveillance, but can be picked up in the surveillance of foreign targets.

Hours before the House vote, Mr. Trump seemed to undercut his intelligence agencies by saying FISA had been abused by the Obama administration.

The House passed a measure to reauthorize controversial spying provisions Thursday, just hours after a tweet by President Donald Trump almost derailed the vote. The dossier in question makes claims about ties between Russia, Trump, and his aides.

House leadership today once again caved to irresponsible fearmongering from the intelligence agencies and succeeded in jamming through a hastily drafted surveillance bill.

But before that he sent out a tweet suggesting that the program was used to collect information that might have been used to taint his campaign.

Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, went to the House floor to urge Republicans to postpone the vote after the "inaccurate, conflicting and confusing statements".

Until that tweet, the Trump administration had strongly pressed Congress to extend the authority, before it lapses on Jan 19.

Because of the confusion, Chief of Staff John Kelly was dispatched to the Hill to save legislation the White House supported. A separate source confirmed that Trump initiated the call.

"The House-passed bill does absolutely nothing to defend the vast majority of law-abiding Americans from warrantless searches", said Senator Wyden, of Oregon. Nunes read the tweet aloud to the GOP conference, calming lawmakers' nerves. The president's reversal was yet another example of him seemingly taking cues from television, particularly the morning Fox News show, while also personalizing an issue, in this case the dossier, over a policy position. He walked himself back two hours later, tweeting, "We need it!".

But the House rejected, on a 233-183 vote, more stringent restrictions on the Federal Bureau of Investigation that would have required it to get a warrant even when it started its search of the surveillance database when Americans might be involved.

Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats on Thursday signed a measure that for the first time established guidance for the entire intelligence community. The move follows unsubstantiated charges by President Donald Trump that his predecessor's administration spied on his campaign and improperly "unmasked" the identities of his associates during the 2016 presidential campaign and transition.

Republicans and Democrats have pushed back against linking the FISA program to the controversy over unmasking.

The bill "fails to meaningfully restrict the use of Section 702 to spy on Americans without a warrant", the American Civil Liberties Union said.

Since the Snowden revelations in 2013, the public learned that Section 702 has been used unlawfully and in ways that was never intended. As the law was originally written, the intelligence community can not use Section 702 to target Americans, who are protected by the Fourth Amendment's prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures. "The government obtains this data without a warrant and in massive amounts, based on a promise that it is not trying to access Americans' communications".

The legislation, which passed 256-164 and split party lines, is the culmination of a years-long debate in Congress on the proper scope of United States intelligence collection - one fueled by the 2013 disclosures of classified surveillance secrets by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

Trump's tweets came shortly after a "Fox and Friends" segment that highlighted the FISA program, calling it "controversial".