Johnson Faces Humiliation as Trump’s Push Sinks Surveillance Bill

( – The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA) is a federal law outlining procedures for surveilling and collecting foreign intelligence within the United States to combat terrorism and espionage. Section 702 of that law deals with surveilling foreign nationals outside the US without having to obtain a warrant from the court. That segment needs to be re-authorized at certain intervals and just came up for a vote on the House floor.

On April 10, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) called for a vote to advance the matter but came up short and the measure failed. Shortly before the vote, former President Donald Trump wrote a clear message to his followers in the Lower Chamber — “KILL FISA.”

Nineteen Republicans heeded his orders, joining 209 Democrats to stop the procedural vote. But that doesn’t mean the speaker is giving up on advancing the measure. That section of the law expires on April 19, and Johnson believes there is still a path forward. The House speaker told reporters he would be talking to House members that night because there was still “time on the clock.”

The reauthorization bill wouldn’t just extend FISA for another five years; it would also impose several reforms, like requiring warrants, limiting backdoor searches, and reducing FBI access to US person queries. The former president incorrectly believes the federal government used FISA to spy on his campaign, hence his stance to kill the bill.

The GOP members who surprisingly sided with the Democrats included Freedom Caucus members like Representatives Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL). It’s unclear where Johnson plans to go from here, as his tenure with the gavel is currently in jeopardy.

Representative Marjorie Taylor Green (R-GA) already threatened a move to vacate the chair if Johnson doesn’t fall in line. The speaker’s push to reauthorize FISA could be the tipping point for House members to oust him from the top spot.

~Here’s to Our Liberty!

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