Speaker Mike Johnson’s office has not confirmed Rep. Matt Gaetz’s claim that a reauthorization of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) will not be included in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
There is controversy over the potential inclusion of Section 702 in the NDAA, with concerns raised about the implications of a short-term extension.
National security officials argue that a temporary extension would help law enforcement agencies, but many lawmakers and organizations oppose the move. (Trending: Chilling Surveillance Program Under Biden Exposed)
I love the folks at FreedomWorks – but this isn’t true.
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) November 28, 2023
“The NDAA is not going to be a reauthorization of the FISA program. It is not going to include a full-year authorization of the FISA program,” a senior GOP leadership aide stated.
“Specifically, Section 702 empowers a surveillance court to authorize the program and to direct companies to cooperate for 12 months at a time. If Section 702 lapses, the court could not issue a new round of such orders, but a provision says existing directives can continue until their own expiration dates,” the Times noted.
“The FBI has not proven itself capable of wielding this tool with proper protection of Americans’ civil liberties. Agents have routinely and unconstitutionally surveilled American citizens, and Director Wray’s testimony on Capitol Hill last week did nothing to dissuade House Republicans from that position,” Johnson said.
“We will not reauthorize FISA 702 unless the Bureau proves to Congress that it has implemented major reforms and establishes a transparent set of checks and balances to ensure that American citizens aren’t being unconstitutionally surveilled by the institutions designed to protect them.”
“Tying FISA to the NDAA will only be viewed as the House folding to Chuck Schumer’s agenda. Further, it’s a non-starter for many conservatives and progressives who would typically support our must-pass defense bill,” a senior GOP aide said.
“FISA reform is a bipartisan issue that must be considered on its own. Washington is addicted to combining legislative vehicles and turning them into take-it-or-leave-it proposals. Lumping FISA reform with the ‘must-pass’ NDAA conference report will be a non-negotiable for Republicans across the conference,” a House GOP aide added.
Speaker Johnson has expressed the need for significant reforms to Section 702 and has stated that Congress will not reauthorize the program without these reforms.