Senate Extends FISA Surveillance Provisions for 77 Days

Deal will allow for votes on broader reforms

One day after three provisions of the FISA surveillance program expired, the Senate cleared a 77-day extension as part of a deal allowing more debate and proper vote on real reforms to the program. This was the response to opposition to the House bill, which offered only minor reform.

Senate leadership broadly wanted to just sign off on the House bill, but Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Mike Lee (R-UT) moved to block it without more serious reforms. Some were still hoping to vote upon that today, but ahead of that vote, the 77-day plan emerged.

The ACLU praised this move, saying that it gives a chance for debate and amendments, limiting large-scale surveillance and ensuring that the government complies with legal obligations that so often they refused to do.

Assuming the Senate passes a more acceptable version, which would start from the House version, it would then have to be reconciled between the two chambers, before ultimately going on to President Trump. Trump had hinted at vetoing the House version, but never confirmed he would definitely do so.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.