House Will Vote Today To Allow Warrantless Searches on US Citizens

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The program is set to expire on January 19 unless Congress acts. White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued a statement Wednesday night, saying the "administration urges the House ... to preserve the useful role FISA's Section 702 authority plays in protecting American lives".

Axios's Jonathan Swan reported that Hill Republicans began speculating about who might have "got to" Trump and encouraged the tweet.

"I have personally directed the fix to the unmasking process since taking office and today's vote is about foreign surveillance of foreign bad guys on foreign land", the president wrote around 9:15 a.m. The Senate must still pass the bill before it is sent to the White House for the president's signature.

The Section 702 program was originally approved by Congress in 2008 to increase the government's ability to track and thwart foreign terrorists in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. But in an apparent clean-up operation, Trump was forced to fire off a tweet declaring this of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act: "We need it!"

"The tweet read: "'House votes on controversial FISA ACT today.' This is the act that may have been used, with the help of the discredited and phony Dossier, to so badly surveil and abuse the Trump Campaign by the previous administration and others?"

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

Following Trump's tweets, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi asked Speaker Paul D. Ryan to pull the FISA reauthorization bill from the floor and delay the planned vote, according to a senior Democratic source.

As of press time, the House of Representatives is still planning to hold the FISA vote soon. "FISA is something the President should have known about long before he turned on Fox this morning.", Sen.

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Having the leader of the free world engage in daily stream-of-consciousness tweets based on low-bar cable television news chatter might seem like a good idea - it's like improvisational jazz, only with a higher probability of starting a nuclear war - but sometimes it causes problems.

The debate over national security and civil liberties is coming to a head this week, as a bill backed by the heads of the House Intelligence Committee (HPSCI) is expected on the House floor.

"The administration has voiced support for reauthorization but I think the president indicated to me that he believes that any reauthorization should have significant reforms", Paul said.

USA intelligence officials insist the program is a vital source of intercepting warning signs of potential attacks and information on terror suspects.

Section 702 allows the NSA to eavesdrop on vast amounts of digital communications from foreigners living outside the United States through US companies such as Facebook Inc, Verizon Communications Inc and Alphabet Inc's Google.

The tweet threw into doubt the carefully negotiated bipartisan legislation to extend Section 702 of the FISA law, which allows intelligence agencies to sweep up broad amounts of online communications in search of terrorism leads - critics say it amounts to nothing more than a warrantless search. The FBI has acknowledged to lawmakers that it would rarely need court permission under the Nunes bill to search data collected on Americans.

"What I'm not OK with is that millions of Americans are collected into this data system, and that maybe rogue people at the Federal Bureau of Investigation or at [the] Justice Department could look at this data without a judge's warrant", Paul said.

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