Politics

House Pulls FISA Bill After Trump Threatens to Veto Legislation

House Democrats announced they will not vote on a bipartisan bill to reauthorize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) provisions and enact more reforms to protect civil liberties after President Donald Trump issued a veto threat.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) officially removed the vote on the bill on Thursday after Republicans signaled they would no longer back the measure.

“At the request of the Speaker of the House, I am withdrawing consideration of the FISA Act,” Hoyer said in a written statement, referring to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). “The two-thirds of the Republican party that voted for this bill in March have indicated they are going to vote against it now. I am told they are doing so at the request of the President. I believe this to be against the security interest of the United States and the safety of the American people.”

In a letter to other Democrats, Pelosi said Democrats want to negotiate with the Senate to come to an agreement on the bill. The Senate passed a bill 80-16 to reauthorize some provisions and revise how the FBI and Department of Justice use FISA courts to fight terrorism.

“The President tweeted that he would veto the bill, and House Republicans abandoned their support for our national security,” Pelosi said in a statement Thursday.

Thank you to our GREAT Republican Congressmen & Congresswomen on your incredibly important blockage last night of a FISA Bill that would just perpetuate the abuse that produced the Greatest Political Crime In the History of the U.S., the Russian Witch-Hunt. Fantastic Job!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 28, 2020

Trump on Tuesday called on Republicans to “vote NO” until officials are “able to determine how and why the greatest political, criminal, and subversive scandal in USA history took place.”

FISA warrants were approved by the court to surveil former Trump campaign aide Carter Page in 2016, and officials have called for reforming the process after the Department of Justices inspector general last year found 17 significant errors and omissions during the process. Another report found that the FBIs violations of FISA rules went beyond the scope of its investigation into whether Trumps campaign colluded with Russia.

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