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Anna Paulina Luna whips last-ditch effort to tank FISA reauthorization bill

A coalition of House Republicans won’t let the reauthorization of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act pass without a fight, with Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL) calling on fellow lawmakers to vote against tabling a motion to reconsider the bill’s passage.


Shortly after FISA passed on the House floor, 273 to 147, on Friday, Rep. Laurel Lee (R-FL) called for a motion to reconsider the vote, pushing House Intelligence Chairman Mike Turner (R-OH) to call for a motion to table Lee’s motion. Luna demanded a recorded vote on the motion to table, which is set to take place Monday night.


In a “Dear Colleague” letter, Luna blasts FISA as a “widely misused and abusive” system and argues Congress “had the opportunity” to make significant reforms but chose not to. Many House Republicans expressed disappointment and anger after the chamber tied on a vote to include an amendment from Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), which would have required warrants to search U.S. citizen data in the FISA database.


“Is the 118th Congress going to set the precedent that we, as Members of Congress, will beprotected from warrantless searches but that the everyday Americans that we represent will not be?” Luna wrote.


“I urge all Members of Congress to vote NO on the motion to table the motion to reconsider,” Luna said, adding that she is “specifically asking the 56 Members of Congress” who voted for FISA but against Biggs’s amendment to vote against the motion.


Monday’s motion to table vote is the culmination of months of infighting within the Republican Party over how to reform the key surveillance program. Though House Judiciary Committee members and other privacy hawks secured wins with a two-year sunset and a stand-alone vote on Rep. Warren Davidson’s (R-OH) bill, the Fourth Amendment is Not For Sale Act, sometime this week, House Intelligence Committee members and national security allies ultimately secured victory with no warrant requirements and a mostly-agreed upon base text.

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) faced severe backlash for the Biggs amendment, as the House tied 212 to 212, causing the amendment to fail. Many members accused the speaker of being a “tiebreaker” vote, despite his office claiming he was not the last member to vote on the amendment.


How the vote on the motion to table swings could impact whether the House needs to prepare for another FISA vote and whether Johnson needs to prepare for a possible motion to vacate. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) had said ahead of the vote that her decision on whether to move forward with the motion would depend on Johnson’s approach to FISA and Ukraine aid.

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