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IPFS News Link • Surveillance

Eighty-Six House Republicans Vote for Warrantless Surveillance of Americans


Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) proposed an amendment to the Reforming Intelligence and Securing America Act (RISAA), a bill that would reauthorize Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Section 702 is a law that is meant to target foreign adversaries, but often surveils Americans' private communications without a warrant.

The amendment tied at 212-212 in the House; a tie in the House means that the measure fails. Although Biggs's amendment did receive support from a majority of Republicans, 86 House Republicans failed to support the proposal.

A warrant requirement is overwhelmingly backed by Americans. A YouGov poll commissioned by FreedomWorks and Demand Progress found that 76 percent of Americans support a warrant requirement, while only 12 percent oppose.

Only one member of House Republican leadership voted with the majority of the House Republican Conference on warrants requirements: House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-MN). Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA), and House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-NY) voted against the warrant requirement.

Johnson used to support closing the backdoor search loophole, or the ability to surveil Americans through Section 702, which is meant to target foreigners. However, he changed his mind after seeing a classified briefing after becoming Speaker.

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