Apr 10, 2024 - Politics & Policy

GOP revolts against Mike Johnson, tanks vote on FISA spy bill

This is the GOP

Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

A group of conservatives defeated a procedural vote on a bill to reauthorize FISA after House Republican leadership dared them to vote no amid GOP infighting over the controversial spy bill.

Why it matters: Congress is facing an April 19 deadline to re-up the government's authority to conduct surveillance on noncitizens abroad, with national security and privacy hawks fiercely divided on key language.

  • Nineteen conservatives voted against the rule vote, saying they would not support it without warrant requirements they feel are necessary to ensure Americans' privacy rights despite Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) assuring an amendment would be brought to the floor.
  • Critics of the warrant language argue it would hinder the U.S.'s ability to assess and combat threats in real time.
  • Former President Trump urged Republicans to kill the bill on social media shortly before the rule vote, arguing FISA was misused to spy on his campaign.

The intrigue: Johnson has come under fire from conservative hardliners on the issue, with Rep. Majorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) telling reporters FISA would factor into her decision whether she will force a vote to oust him from his gavel.

  • Leadership previously pulled two FISA bills due to infighting this Congress.

The big picture: Johnson previously warned members that they would get jammed by the Senate if the House failed to pass its bill.

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