A Tale of 2 Johnsons: ‘Blackmailed’ Speaker Flip-Flops on FISA ahead of Key Vote


(Ken Silva, Headline USA) When he sat on the Judiciary Committee, Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., was one of the most vocal proponents for requiring U.S. intelligence agencies to obtain warrants before using Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to spy on Americans.

But now that Johnson is Speaker of the House, he’s flip-flopped and is supporting a FISA reauthorization bill that doesn’t include warrant requirements.

The House Rules Committee is reportedly set to review the Johnson-backed bill on Tuesday afternoon. Section 702 of FISA, which allows U.S. government agencies to target foreigners outside the U.S. for intelligence purposes, will sunset on April 19 unless reauthorized by Congress.

In a Monday press release, the libertarian think tank FreedomWorks blasted Johnson for pushing a watered-down bill ahead of the renewal deadline.

“I am saddened to report we’re now seeing the true and spineless Mike Johnson amid this FISA fight,” said FreedomWorks President Adam Brandon.

“The last time Section 702 came through the House, Johnson voted for the strongest possible reforms via the USA RIGHTS Act, and now he has forsaken his past support of the Fourth Amendment. Johnson also voted for the Fourth Amendment Is Not for Sale Act during a July 2023 markup. Now, he’s denying an opportunity to consider that bill as an amendment to legislation to reauthorize Section 702,” Brandon added.

Johnson’s support for the watered-down FISA renewal bill comes about two months after he pulled a bill that would have implemented crucial warrant requirements supported by privacy advocates. At the time, Johnson said he pulled the bill “to allow Congress more time to reach consensus on how best to reform FISA and Section 702.”

Johnson’s flip-flip on FISA is his latest about-face.

After he suddenly supported a $1.2 billion spending deal that largely capitulated to Democrat demands last month, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., introduced a motion to hold a House vote on whether to vacate Johnson from the speakership.

Greene has gone as far as to suggest that Johnson is being blackmailed into supporting leftist policies.

“We cannot get anyone more moderate than Mike Johnson,” Greene recently said. “I would argue Mike Johnson, we can’t get any further Left than Mike Johnson. I think the Democrats might be happier with him than they are with Hakeem Jeffries.”

Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.


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