Some lawmakers say current laws allow agencies to spy on Americans

Thomas Massie Justin Amash Rand Paul

Bill Clark CQ Roll Call Newscom

Thursday's final bill did include a new requirement that the information gained by spying agencies can't be used against Americans in criminal suits unless there's a warrant, although that doesn't prevent intelligence and law enforcement agencies from accessing to Americans communications.

FISA Section 702 allows the U.S. government to pull in communications from foreign nationals but does not permit surveillance of USA citizens, even if they are suspected of criminality or terrorism.

The program is set to expire on January 19 unless Congress acts. The legislation now goes to the Senate, which will take it up at a later time, and faces opposition by Sen.

The House on Thursday approved legislation reauthorizing a powerful surveillance program, hours after President Trump weighed in on the controversial program.

TRUMP, known to millions for his roles as "Waldo's Dad" in 'The Little Rascals' and as "VIP Patron" in '54' has publicly denounced the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) which is under discussion in Congress today.

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After a few confusing tweets, U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday pushed the House to renew a critical national security program that allows spy agencies to collect intelligence on foreign targets overseas.

"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", Trump wrote. "We need it! Get smart!" At 9:12 p.m., the White House issued a statement from press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders created to provide this clarity. But in the years after the law was passed, US intelligence agencies were found to be snooping on Americans' phone calls and in 2015, Sensenbrenner authored the USA Freedom Act that sharply curtailed the NSA's ability to collect phone meta-data on Americans. Some privacy groups said it would actually expand the NSA's surveillance powers. House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., spoke by phone with Trump, and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly was dispatched to the Hill.

"We weren't confused, but some of you were", press secretary Sarah Sanders said. Exactly what he supports isn't completely clear.

Backers of the Amash-Lofgren amendment said they wanted to restore the Constitution's Fourth Amendment protections against unlawful searches. Then, all the data collected is saved and our government uses it to prosecute Americans for reasons totally unrelated to foreign security threats.

"We think that is unconstitutional, hugely problematic, and we're here to defend the rights of the American people", Amash said.

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Trump's White House has been aggressively lobbying for months for a clean, permanent renewal of the 702 authority, which the intelligence community maintains is critical to identifying and disrupting terror plots. The law must be changed to account for this, and future presidents. One of his tweets suggested that the foreign intelligence program was used to collect information that might have been used to taint his campaign. But she added, "The president doesn't believe Americans' rights or liberties should be abused, but he certainly believes Americans should be protected". Ron Wyden, D-Ore., a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Wednesday in an op-ed.

Trump and his supporters say investigators have used false information in the dossier as part of their probe, a claim the president echoed in an earlier tweet.

"It's a Democrat hoax that was brought up as an excuse, for losing an election", he said.

"The House-passed bill does absolutely nothing to defend the vast majority of law-abiding Americans from warrantless searches, and in many ways it expands the federal government's ability to spy on Americans".

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