March 10, 2020 – In Breaking News – Reuters
Democratic and Republican leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives reached an agreement on Tuesday that would extend a divisive set of government surveillance tools, a major boost for efforts to reauthorize the program before it expires on Sunday.
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, as well as the leaders of the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees, reached an agreement to reauthorize three expiring provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, known as FISA.
Among other changes, the agreement would narrow the type of information collected, prevent it from being held for more than five years and make the program less secretive.
Pelosi said the deal “strikes the balance between protecting Americans’ security and their civil liberties.”
While the deal is a major step toward renewing the program, its fate was not immediately clear even if it is passed by the Democratic-led House in a vote that could come as early as Wednesday.
The Republican-led U.S. Senate was not involved in the negotiations.
(Congressman Andy Biggs, R-AZ, discusses how House lawmakers could vote on FISA reauthorization on Wednesday instead of voting to amend the court. Courtesy of Fox Business and YouTube. Posted on Mar 10, 2020.)
Aides to Republican President Donald Trump, who would have to sign any legislation into law, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
However, Trump’s attorney general, William Barr, was involved in negotiations for the agreement.
Some Senate Republicans told reporters that, while they had not yet had a chance to closely review the legislation, they were likely to back a measure supported by Barr.
The domestic surveillance rules had become a flashpoint between Democrats and Republicans because Trump has pushed to change them in the aftermath of the investigation of Russian efforts to interfere in U.S. elections.
(Republican Rep. Doug Collins says the administration remains on top of the coronavirus outbreak and weighs in on the House’s fight to prevent future FISA abuses. Courtesy of Fox News and YouTube. Posted on Mar 8, 2020.)
Continue reading… U.S. House leaders reach deal to extend surveillance program
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