House Republicans Kill FISA Reauthorization, Claim 'Victory for Americans'

House Republicans Kill FISA Reauthorization, Claim 'Victory for Americans'

Grayson Bakich
Grayson Bakich
|
April 10, 2024

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act's (FISA) Section 702, which permitted warrantless surveillance, was just killed by House Republicans in a vote of 228 against reauthorization to 193 in favor. Outside the Capitol, The Floridian was able to receive comments from Representatives Cory Mills (R-FL) and Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL), who both cited the spying of former President Donald Trump, on top of violating Americans' privacy and abuses of surveillance powers, as reasons to kill the bill.

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) initially withdrew a version of the bill containing provisions preventing data brokers from selling consumer data and requiring warrants from law enforcement to search through it. The version introduced last week lacked these provisions due to the intensity of the debate surrounding them but potentially ensured that reauthorizing FISA's Section 702 was doomed.

CNN framed the death of the bill as a defeat for Speaker Johnson, but Rep. Mills told The Floridian, "I do not look at this as a defeat for the Speaker, but a victory for the American people and their privacy."

Moreover, while Rep. Mills does not sit on the House Freedom Caucus, he said "If you are a Constitutionalist, if you believe in the Fourth Amendment, if you believe in the rights of individuals to have freedoms and liberties, then there is no way in good conscience you could support something which has been proven to be violated by the FBI over 287,000 times."

In July, Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) interrogated FBI Director Christopher Wray about the shocking number of FISA abuses carried out by employees. However, Wray claimed no knowledge of it. 

Mills also referenced Operation Crossfire Hurricane, the apparent operation by intelligence operatives in the FBI to frame former President Donald Trump as "colluding" with Russia to steal the 2016 Election and justify spying on his campaign.

Rep. Luna also referenced Crossfire Hurricane in her comments to The Floridian, saying, "The Administration used this as a tool to spy on this President, and I am sure they are still using it, and we are not going to tolerate it. And frankly, I think that this Republican body, you guys are seeing a major shift within the conference of people that either will either stand up and fight for the American people, or they are going to go ahead and work for the intelligence community and violate all of your constitutional liberties, and we are not going to tolerate it."

Before the vote, Trump urged Republicans on Truth Social to kill the FISA Section 702 reauthorization.

"KILL FISA, IT WAS ILLEGALLY USED AGAINST ME AND MANY OTHERS," Trump posted.

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Grayson Bakich

Grayson Bakich

Florida born and raised, Grayson Bakich is a recent recipient of a Master’s Degree in Political Science at the University of Central Florida. His thesis examined recent trends in political polarization and how this leads into justification of violence.

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