House passes NSA spying bill after Trump tweets cause confusion

Delaying surveillance reform could undermine the economy

"Initially on Thursday, after similar sentiments were voiced by a commentator on "Fox and Friends", the president's favorite cable morning show, Trump wrote: "'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?" Republican Senator Rand Paul and Democratic Senator Ron Wyden immediately vowed to filibuster the measure but it was unclear whether they could convince enough colleagues to force changes.

The law that authorized the surveillance programs is set to expire on January 19.

The House voted Thursday to extend the government's authority to spy on foreigners' digital communications, hours after President Donald Trump sowed confusion over the bill by sending a tweet that resurrected his prior claims that his campaign team had been spied upon.

The bill does require, for the first time according to Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), that the government obtain a warrant to access data on us persons in criminal investigations and will prevent the FBI from using information collected incidentally from such communications in criminal investigations.

In a Wednesday statement, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said the administration urged the House to pass the surveillance legislation without amendments introduced by critics.

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The program allows the government to gather foreign intelligence on US soil. While they never questioned the outcome Thursday, some Republicans were frustrated by the mixed messages from the White House.

In 2008, Congress passed a number of changes to FISA, including a provision known as Section 702, which allows warrantless monitoring of phone and internet use by non-Americans outside the United States.

He then partially walked back his comments, adding: "With that being said, 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".

After the vote Thursday, Ryan, asked about his conversation with the president, said Trump's concerns regarded other parts of the law. The Senate must also now vote to renew the powers before the programs can be extended further. "We need it! Get smart!"

Without congressional action, legal support for Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which authorizes the program, will expire next week, although intelligence officials say it could continue through April.

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It was created to spy on foreign citizens living outside the U.S. and specifically bars the targeting of American citizens or anyone residing in the U.S. But critics say the program also sweeps up the electronic data of innocent Americans who may be communicating with foreign nationals, even when those foreigners aren't suspected of terrorist activity. House Speak Paul Ryan called President Trump following his first tweet of the morning, according to a source familiar with the call.

The Trump administration and the intelligence community want to preserve the program as-is.

The White House, U.S. intelligence agencies and Republican leaders in Congress have said they consider the tool indispensable and in need of little or no revision.

"Politicians who support broad, unchecked government surveillance authorities are once again rushing to approve a sweeping program at the expense of Americans' personal liberty and constitutional rights", Sen.

GOP leaders made a decision to bring the Nunes bill to the floor rather than legislation passed by the House Judiciary Committee that supporters say had stronger privacy provisions.

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The NSA and Federal Bureau of Investigation have downplayed their collection and use of the materials on Americans.

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