Rand Paul and Thomas Massie Call Out House Speaker Johnson Over FISA Reauthorization and Legislative Priorities

by | Apr 16, 2024 | News

House Speaker Mike Johnson is under fire from prominent Republicans for his recent legislative actions, including his support for the reauthorization of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) without crucial amendments and his prioritization of other contentious bills.

The reauthorization of FISA, passed recently in a 273-147 vote, did not include an amendment previously supported by Republicans, including Johnson himself, that would have required warrants for surveilling communications involving U.S. citizens, with specific exceptions. Johnson, after a confidential briefing, withdrew his support for the amendment, a move that has sparked criticism from within his own party. On Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” Johnson defended the necessity of FISA, citing national security and the prevention of potential terrorist activities on U.S. soil. He argued that the swift nature of surveillance needs does not accommodate the delays that obtaining a warrant might entail.

However, Senator Rand Paul and Representative Thomas Massie have publicly criticized Johnson’s decision. Senator Paul accused Speaker Johnson of aligning too closely with Democratic spending demands and undermining the Fourth Amendment by failing to ensure a warrant requirement for FISA surveillance. Paul’s discontent was evident in a social media post where he questioned the difference between Johnson’s leadership and that of the Democrats.

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Meanwhile, Rep. Massie expressed concerns over Johnson’s legislative focus, particularly criticizing him for advancing a bill to ban TikTok and extend presidential powers to ban websites, instead of addressing critical issues like border security. Massie’s frustration was highlighted in a social media post coinciding with Rep. Gallagher’s departure from Congress, suggesting that the timing and focus of Johnson’s legislative agenda were misguided.

These internal criticisms reflect growing tensions within the Republican Party over national security measures and civil liberties, as well as the broader direction of the party’s legislative priorities. Both Paul and Massie are calling for greater adherence to constitutional principles and a reevaluation of the party’s focus to better address the pressing issues facing the country.

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