[Photo Credit: By Diliff - Self-published work by Diliff, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=558744]

House Approves Controversial FISA Bill

The House, by a bipartisan vote, extended the nation’s warrantless surveillance powers on Friday, granting approval for the program to continue for an additional two years. However, lawmakers narrowly rejected the inclusion of an amendment that would have mandated a warrant for certain searches. The chamber approved the bill, which will prolong and modify Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), with a vote of 273-147. Congress is facing a deadline of April 19 to renew the authorization of the surveillance capabilities. The deliberation of the FISA legislation created intense and compelling moments on the House floor on Friday. Just moments before the final approval, the legislative body rejected an amendment by a vote of 212-212. This proposal aimed to include a provision that would have made it necessary to obtain a warrant for the data of American citizens collected during international surveillance operations. A tie is not considered a winning outcome in the House. The amendment, spearheaded by Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), has become the primary point of contention in the FISA discussion. It has created a divide between privacy advocates on the Judiciary Committee, who support the provision, and members of the Intelligence Committee and the White House, who are against it. If the amendment had been approved, it would have created significant concerns regarding the future of the FISA law in both the Senate and the White House. Moments afterward, Representative Laurel Lee (R-Fla.), who introduced the proposal, proposed a move to review the vote again. Representative Mike Turner (R-Ohio), who serves as the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, subsequently proposed a motion to postpone the motion to reconsider. However, the vote on the move to postpone the motion to reconsider was deferred to a future date. The FISA bill cannot proceed to the Senate until the vote takes place, notwithstanding its approval in the House. [READ MORE: Trump Demands Arizona Legislature to ‘Act’ After GOP Blocks Dems From Repealing Abortion Ban]

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