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You are here News Congress Fourth time's the charm: House passes controversial spying bill after bitter infighting

Fourth time's the charm: House passes controversial spying bill after bitter infighting

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House poasses FISA billThe fourth time (yes, the fourth) was the charm for House Republicans when the lower chamber of Congress on a bipartisan basis voted to renew a controversial spying law, not without plenty of hiccups along the way.

The House approved reauthorization of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, by a vote of 273-147, on Friday, with most of the bill’s dissenters coming from the body’s civil-liberty minded ultraconservative and progressive factions.

The law’s strongest advocates come from the intelligence committee, who say FISA's warrantless surveillance provisions are essential to protecting national security.

The final product wasn’t enough to completely satisfy most of the conservative hardliners that have long been a thorn in House Speaker Mike Johnson’s side. But they ultimately settled on a change to the program’s regular expiration date to two years from five years. They did that with the hope of enacting significant reforms later down the line should Donald Trump win back the White House in 2024 and be positioned through his administration to shape the contours of the next version of legislation.


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