Mike Johnson (R-LA) has decided not to include an extension of FISA authority in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a move that received strong bipartisan opposition.
Instead, the Judiciary Committee will consider a proposal to rein in the controversial surveillance law.
The proposed legislation, Protect Liberty and End Warrantless Surveillance Act (PLEWSA), aims to require warrants for Americans’ information sought under Section 702, limit FBI database searches, and set penalties for FISA violations. (Trending: Trump Announces Major Promise For 2024)
Rep. Warren Davidson said, “Keeping FISA out of the NDAA is a victory for the American people who demand the end of warrantless government surveillance. I applaud Speaker Johnson’s decision to not cave to the Biden admin, Christopher Wray, and the entire intel community.”
Sen. Ron Wyden said, “We’re going the distance with reform.”
“Business as usual is not going to be acceptable,” he continued.
“When I started, it was pretty lonely. You could have meetings about 702 reform operations in a couple of phone booths. And I’m looking around now and I’m seeing a lot of allies,” said Wyden.
Bipartisan support exists for the bill, with lawmakers emphasizing the need to protect civil liberties and privacy rights.
Rep. Andy Biggs released a statement, saying, “America’s intelligence community continues to conduct a warrantless, mass surveillance campaign on innocent citizens.”
“In 2021 alone, the FBI misused FISA 278,000 times to spy on American citizens – including a U.S. congressman and political donors. Our civil liberties are at stake,” recalled the GOP rep.
“Without serious reforms to FISA 702, our Fourth Amendment rights will be all but gone. My legislation addresses numerous loopholes in federal law to end this unconstitutional practice and to ensure rogue agents are held accountable,” warned Biggs.
“I am grateful for the bipartisan, bicameral effort to overhaul the FISA 702 spying authority. I call on my colleagues to pass this legislation into law,” concluded the lawmaker.