House reauthorizes Patriot Act's Section 702 without privacy amendments

Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Seema Verma listen at right as President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. The Trump adm

House reauthorizes Patriot Act's Section 702 without privacy amendments

His tweet came despite his administration expressing support for renewing the program.

An amendment to the FISA act is being offered, which would, per the New York Times, "ban the practice whereby officials at the N.S.A., the F.B.I. and other security agencies, without a warrant, search for and read private messages of Americans that the government incidentally swept up under the 702 program".

Update: The House has passed legislation sponsored by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) to extend NSA surveillance authority for six years without significant new privacy safeguards. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) have sponsored the Senate version of the USA RIGHTS Act.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Cali., the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said on the House floor during debate over the FISA bill that House GOP leaders should postpone consideration of the bill in light of Trump's tweets.

More than 50 House Democrats joined a majority of Republicans to shoot down an amendment that would have reined in USA spying powers on Thursday, allowing a controversial surveillance reauthorization to pass with only minor reforms.

President Trump briefly took aim Thursday at a key surveillance program despite his administration's official support for renewing it, suggesting the program was used to "badly surveil and abuse" his campaign based on the "phony" Trump dossier.

He said that "today's vote is about foreign surveillance of foreign bad guys on foreign land".

He later reversed course, after reports that he spoke to House Speaker Paul Ryan, and tweeted support of the bill, telling lawmakers to "Get smart!"

The bill approved by the House allows the Federal Bureau of Investigation to continue scanning the database, using search terms, for information on Americans.

Seema Verma administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services speaks during a news conference in Newark N.J. The Trump administration says it’s offering a path for states that want to seek work

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Wednesday night issued a statement asking lawmakers to vote against the legislation with the changes.

But the White House, in opposing those reforms, said the amendment would "re-establish the walls between intelligence and law enforcement that our country knocked down following the attacks of 9/11".

Help close the backdoor search loophole, by requiring warrants for searches of Section 702-collected data that belongs to Americans.

Napolitano said that the president's "woes began with unlawful foreign surveillance and unconstitutional domestic surveillance of him" before he assumed office.

Section 702 of the FISA Act allows intelligence agencies to gather information via surveillance on foreign targets. It allows warrantless surveillance outside the United States even if one end of the communication is an American on American soil. "The Constitution really isn't guaranteed to everyone around the world, it's guaranteed to us here", he said.

Trump's White House has been aggressively lobbying for months for a clean, permanent renewal of the 702 authority, which the intelligence community maintains is critical to identifying and disrupting terror plots. But she added, "The president doesn't believe Americans' rights or liberties should be abused, but he certainly believes Americans should be protected".

But top Democrats on the House and Senate intelligence committees had already seized on the president's first tweet, excoriating it as "irresponsible" and "untrue".

The bipartisan coalition backing overhaul efforts - which includes some of the most conservative and most liberal members of the House - argued that change was necessary to uphold the meaning and substance of Fourth Amendment privacy rights in light of 21st-century communications technology and surveillance powers. 55 Democrats voted against the amendment, where a swing of 26 votes would have meant its adoption and the protection of Americans' privacy.

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