- The Washington Times
Wednesday, May 27, 2020

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday she plans to move forward with a scheduled vote to renew controversial surveillance tools used by the intelligence community.

A vote was scheduled for early Wednesday afternoon, but mounting opposition from Republicans and civil liberties advocates on the left threw those plans into jeopardy.

The bill, which would make modest reforms to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, was in danger of being pulled after President Trump hinted he’d veto it. Top Republicans demanded Democratic leaders delay the vote and liberals wanted more stringent reforms.

But Ms. Pelosi, California Democrat, confirmed the vote was back on track. She said there was support for two controversial amendments added by the Republican-led Senate.

“We have to have a bill and we have to have it signed,” she said.

A third amendment, proposed by a member of Ms. Pelosi’s own party will not be included, she said.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, California Democrat, has offered an amendment that would prohibit the government from warrantless searches of Americans’ Internet browsing history.

Ms. Pelosi said the amendment didn’t have support among lawmakers and threatened to sink the legislative package.

“We decided where the votes were,” she said.

The president has railed against FISA, which was used by the FBI to spy on members of his campaign during the probe into alleged ties between members of the Trump team and Russia.

Republicans, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, California Republican, quickly mobilized. They demanded Democratic leadership pull the bill.

Ms. Pelosi, however, was able to salvage the FISA bill and is expected to head to the House floor Wednesday afternoon.

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