They say politics makes strange bedfellows, which is never truer than when it comes to privacy issues.
A group of conservative lawmakers and liberal activist groups are calling for a standalone bill to reauthorize Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which is at the center of the controversy surrounding the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. There is concern among the groups that FISA reauthorization will sneak into year-end spending bills required to avoid a government shutdown.
A group of 34 Republican lawmakers, led by Republican Rep. Justin Amash, are demanding reauthorization of FISA be “a standalone bill,” according to a letter sent to congressional leadership on the issue. And they’re threatening to block any extension of government funding past the end of the year should FISA extension be part of any funding bills.
“We are fast approaching the law’s expiration date,” the letter reads, and lawmakers worry, “There may be temptation to attach reauthorization of the FISA Amendments Act to a large end-of-year legislative package, but doing so would undermine representative democracy by effectively precluding most members of Congress from being heard on the important issues it raises and preventing the public from finding out where their representatives stand.”
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