House urged to cancel vote to renew NSA internet surveillance

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

The program allows the National Security Agency to intercept calls or emails from suspected foreign terrorists outside the U.S. Trump hints in his first tweet that it may have been used under the Obama administration to spy on his campaign. Soon after, he posted another tweet endorsing passage. Still, the bill was expected to pass the House of Representatives today with a combination of Democratic and Republican votes.

Most lawmakers expect it to become law, although it still would require Senate approval and Trump's signature. Similar to the situation in the House, though, the measure faces opposition from senators of both parties who seek stricter privacy protections for information about Americans swept up by the surveillance. The bill now moves to the Senate, where Kentucky Republican Rand Paul has said he may attempt a filibuster unless the spy authority is weakened.

USA intelligence agencies have pressed lawmakers to preserve the programs. Trump tweeted Thursday morning.

President Donald Trump appears to have accidentally opposed the official White House position in support of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act after he followed the lead of a Fox & Friends segment that was critical of the law.

He later said "This vote is about foreign surveillance of foreign bad guys on foreign land. We need it! Get smart!" he tweeted.

The measure aims to more tightly restrict how the names of Americans kept secret in intelligence reports can be revealed, particularly during presidential transitions.

The reauthorization bill, S. 139, isn't directly related to the unmasking issue.

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After the vote Thursday, Ryan, asked about his conversation with the president, said Trump's concerns regarded other parts of the law. The current version of the law expires after January 19.

Trump initially said on Twitter that the surveillance program had been used against him but later said it was needed.

Ryan said at a news conference later Thursday that he speaks with Trump nearly daily.

That law, Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act, was passed in 2008. "He knows that and he, I think, put out something that clarifies that", Ryan told reporters.

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. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., on the left, want to impose a requirement that the Federal Bureau of Investigation go to court and get a warrant every time it wants to search the data for the communications of an American.

That tweet seemed to contradict a statement from the White House just 12 hours earlier which expressed clear support for the measure, - and it seemed to support a proposed amendment to reform the program that the White House had also said it didn't want.



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