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Elizabeth Nolan Brown

Democrats Tank FISA Warrant Requirement

A measure requiring federal agents to get a warrant before searching American communications collected as part of foreign intelligence failed to pass the House of Representatives today. The measure received 212 votes for and 212 votes against.

"This is a sad day for America," said Rep. Thomas Massie (R–Ky.). "The Speaker doesn't always vote in the House, but he was the tie breaker today. He voted against warrants."

But it was largely Democrats who sank the warrant requirement. House Democrats voted against the measure 84–126, while Republicans voted for the measure 128–86.

MAGA Republicans have been the ones leading the charge for Section 702 reform, which they see as part of reigning in an unaccountable FBI and "deep state."

The measure in question came in the form of an amendment to House Resolution 7888, the Reforming Intelligence and Securing America Act (RISAA). H.R. 7888 would reauthorize Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

Section 702—which must be reauthorized every four years—technically provides the federal government with the authority to collect and search the digital communications of foreign persons outside of the United States. But federal snoops also sweep up all sorts of communications from Americans in the course of doing this, and FBI agents routinely search this database when investigating domestic crimes.

For more than a decade, activists and some lawmakers have been pushing to require warrants for searching the Section 702 database for information about American citizens.

Requiring a warrant to search Americans' communications "is something the Constitution ALREADY requires," pointed out former Michigan Rep. Justin Amash, calling on people to "vote out every person who voted no" on the warrant requirement.

The post Democrats Tank FISA Warrant Requirement appeared first on

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