FISA Legislative Whiplash

  • April 12, 2024
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Patrick G. Eddington

In 24 hours, we’ve gone from former President Donald Trump demanding “KILL FISA” to Trump apparently working out a deal with House Speaker Mike Johnson (R‑LA) to cut the FISA Section 702 reauthorization period from five years to two.

Accordingly, shortly after 8 p.m. on April 11, the House Rules Committee reported out a modified version of the Reforming Intelligence and Securing America Act (RISAA, H.R. 7888) with the new two‐​year extension. Several amendments, including one that would require FBI agents to get a probable cause‐​based warrant to access stored FISA Section 702 data on Americans, were also made in order.

Assuming the new rule governing debate on H.R. 7888 actually passes the House this time—and that’s not a given—it seems likely that floor debate on the base bill and the amendments will happen either late Friday morning or early next week. Whether the Senate will accept whatever final FISA reauthorization bill actually passes the House also remains to be seen.