House blocks FISA surveillance law after Trump calls to 'kill it'

Representatives voted 228-193 against moving forward with renewing Section 702 of the legislation.

The House of Representatives rejected a bill that sought to reauthorize the capabilities of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) after Donald Trump asked representatives to kill the legislative proposal.

This Wednesday, legislators voted 228-193 against advancing the renewal of Section 702 of the FISA, which expires on April 19. The vote reflected deep divisions both within the House and among political parties since, although the proposal received the support of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mike Johnson, and several relatives of the victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks, 19 Republicans and 209 Democrats decided to reject the law.

"We’re enacting sweeping changes — 50 reforms, 56 to be exact — to the program … that will stop the abuse of politicized FBI queries and prevent another Russia hoax debacle, among many other important reforms,"​​Johnson said before the vote.

However, former President Donald Trump made it clear through his Truth Social account that the project is not to his liking and that legislators should end FISA, arguing that it had been used illegally and abusively against him and other individuals.

"Kill FISA, it was illegally used against me, and many others. They spied on my campaign!" he expressed.

The bill, designed to reform and extend the provisions of FISA, generated intense debate in the House over privacy, national security, individual rights, and their use in the fight against terrorism. But now, the focus is on the Senate, which will have to decide whether to take up its own FISA reauthorization or whether the provisions of Section 702 will expire.

Meanwhile, privacy advocates and critics of government surveillance continue to push for meaningful reforms that balance national security with respect for the individual rights of American citizens.