Republicans are in revolt as Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) seeks to defer a battle over deep state surveillance authorization to 2025.
Johnson backtracked and caved to the deep state and Democrats on Thursday, agreeing to slip a surveillance authorization in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
Conservatives are increasingly criticizing this move, suggesting that it contributes to the growing evidence that nothing is improving under Johnson’s leadership.
“That’s a full-on strike two and a half — if not more,” Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) stated, alluding to baseball’s three strikes and you’re out rule.
Representative Mike Collins (R-GA), one of the NDAA conferees expected to negotiate the bill’s details, expressed frustration at being unable to participate in the negotiations.
“If you’re going to do all that behind doors, then don’t waste our time by making us look like we’re doing something we’re not. I think that’s what people are so tired of up here,” he said.
Beyond the political implications of excluding lawmakers designated for NDAA negotiations, privacy experts believe that the NDAA might probably extend Section 702 authority until April 2025, effectively eliminating any leverage for lawmakers to reform the contentious deep state surveillance law.
“House and Senate leaders have attached a reauthorization of Section 702 to the NDAA. It purports to be a ‘short-term’ reauthorization until April 19, 2024, but make no mistake: leaders are actually extending this abuse-ridden authority INTO APRIL 2025,” Elizabeth Gotein, a co-director at the Brennan Center for Justice, wrote on Wednesday.
Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), co-sponsor of the Government Surveillance Reform Act alongside Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), wrote: “Reauthorizing FISA through the NDAA is a cowardly move. Americans strongly oppose warrantless surveillance of their fellow citizens by their own government.”
Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), co-sponsor of the Government Surveillance Reform Act alongside Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), wrote: “It’s a cowardly move to reauthorize FISA on the back of the NDAA. Americans hate warrantless surveillance of their fellow citizens by their own government.”
Adam Brandon, president of the conservative grassroots organization FreedomWorks, stated on Thursday:
We have some whiplash right now over FISA and NDAA. Initially, Speaker Johnson has been all over the map on whether or not he would ram through a short-term reauthorization of FISA in NDAA. The conference report for NDAA may say that this extension of FISA runs through April 19, but, in reality, this is a year-long extension. The intelligence community will seek recertifications for existing orders to collect information under FISA. Those recertifications will last for a full year. That means that this extension of FISA will continue to use existing law that allows the FBI to warrantlessly search Americans’ communications through April 19, 2025.
The use of FISA to warrantlessly search Americans’ communications isn’t a theoretical notion. FISA has been used to wrongfully spy on everyone from donors to a congressional campaign to protesters to members of Congress without a warrant.
We’ve known for six years that FISA would expire. This isn’t exactly a surprise to anyone. Using a ‘must-pass’ bill like NDAA to reauthorize FISA is legislative malpractice. We urge members of the House and the Senate to vote against NDAA and to support the Protect Liberty and End Warrantless Surveillance Act, which would reauthorize FISA while bringing reforms that protect Americans’ privacy, end warrantless surveillance, and hold the intelligence community accountable.
Representative Andy Biggs (R-AZ), sponsor of the House Judiciary Committee-advanced Protect Liberty and End Warrantless Surveillance Act (PLEWSA), stated: “I urge Speaker Johnson to promptly bring my legislation to the House Floor for a vote.”
Share your thoughts by scrolling down to leave a comment.