- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Top House Republicans on Wednesday urged Democrats to pull the controversial Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act bill, saying their challenge to the new proxy voting rules could ultimately invalidate it.

“It would only pass with proxy votes meaning the constitutionality of this program would be questioned for a program that already has its own taint on it,” said House Republican Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana.

Republicans have mounted a legal challenge to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s plan to allow representatives to designate a colleague to vote for them in the event of an absence.

One of the first bills to be decided under the new rules adopted by Ms. Pelosi, California Democrat, would reform the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

The bill would make modest tweaks to FISA, which is used by intelligence agencies to surveil individuals, both foreign and domestic, suspected of wrongdoing.

The Justice Department has opposed the reforms adopted by the Senate earlier this month, saying they could hamper national security.

President Trump has also threatened a veto saying the changes don’t go far enough to protect Americans against abuse of the program, which was used to monitor Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

Rep. Liz Cheney, Wyoming Republican, said the FISA legislation was too important to be decided by a proxy vote.

“You’ve got millions of Americans across the country who will not be
represented because their members decided to use a proxy and we are going to pass a bill that is going to fundamentally harm the security of the nation,” she said. “If that is not an abuse of [Democrats’] constitutional authority and power, I don’t know what is.”

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