February 15, 2024

Johnson Forced to Pull Surveillance Bill Amid Party Infighting

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) is not having an easy go of it as Speaker, and that is putting it mildly.

The latest challenge that Johnson is facing is regarding legislation that would extend Section 702 of FISA.

This act has been under considerable scrutiny since it was revealed it was used during the Russian collusion investigation into Donald Trump.

More Problems for Johnson

Republicans in the House gave Johnson a little room to get acclimated to the new position, especially considering the circumstances that led to him getting the gavel.

That goodwill quickly went by the wayside when Johnson appeared to be business as usual after the break.

Republicans are furious that the only legislation he has been able to pass is statement legislation that has no chance of being passed in the Senate.

That would even extend to the investigations into Joe Biden, including the impeachment inquiry, which will never see a vote in the Senate.

Frustrations are now boiling over from different factions of the party, and that would include those directly related to this legislation, which members say was changed at the last minute without party leadership even knowing about it.

To that point, members of the House Intelligence Committee were threatening to block the bill in committee, which would have effectively killed the legislation.

So, Johnson had no choice but to pull it from the calendar.

His office stated, “In order to allow Congress more time to reach consensus on how best to reform FISA and Section 702 while maintaining the integrity of our critical national security programs, the House will consider the reform and reauthorization bill at a later date.”

Congress is now facing an April deadline for a path forward on the legislation, but that could also be challenging.

If Johnson does not get this on the floor soon, Congress will be inundated with budget legislation to keep the government open.

Johnson has to get the caucus on the same page or one thing is for certain… if the GOP holds the House, he is unlikely to be the Speaker in the next term.

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