After months of talking about various reforms, the House voted Thursday 256-164 to renew Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) with only limited changes, rejecting all serious restrictions on surveillance.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) defended the renewal on the grounds that “we don’t know what the terrorists are up to,” despite the section having been in place for years, allowing the same mass surveillance, and abuse already.
The bill still has to get through the Senate, which may not necessarily be an easy task. Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) both coming out against any long-term extension, and Sen. Paul has said he will filibuster any version of the bill that doesn’t include the major reform of requiring warrants to surveil Americans.
So far there’s no indication that the Senate leadership has any more appetite for serious reform than the House did, but this bipartisan opposition, and threat of a filibuster, may make renewal less certain.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- As ISIS Shrinks in Iraq and Syria, US Military Focus Shifts to Afghanistan - May 21st, 2018
- Watchdog Sees Little Progress in Afghanistan Despite Pentagon's Upbeat Statements - May 21st, 2018
- Pompeo Vows 'Strongest Sanctions in History' Against Iran - May 21st, 2018
- Pentagon Threatens More Aggressive Stance Toward Iran - May 21st, 2018
- Israel, US Try to Block International Force for Gaza Strip - May 20th, 2018