On Thursday, March 12, 2020, President Donald Trump told Utah Senator Mike Lee that he does not back a surveillance bill which passed in the House.
Trump’s comments have raised speculations about the status of this bill.
A spokesman from Lee’s office confirmed the conversation and the president informed the Utah Republican that he is not in favor of the House legislation.
Lee and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul have been working diligently to stop the House bill. They even urged Trump to veto the bill if it reaches his desk. The Senators believe that it does not go far enough in its reforming of the court connected to the Freedom Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
Lee attempted, but ultimately failed, to set the Senate to pass a 45-day extension of three provisions of the USA Freedom Act, which are about to expire soon. In addition, he failed to guarantee votes on amendments to the House legislation, which combines a reauthorization of the provisions with some changes in the FISA process.
Progressives and libertarian-leaning GOP senators have warned for some time that they do not believe the surveillance court has enough transparency or privacy protections for those being spied on.
Several other Republican lawmakers have joined them after the Justice Department inspector general Michael Horowitz discovered 17 notable inaccuracies and omissions in the warrant applications launched against Trump campaign associate Carter Page.
Trump repeatedly criticized FISA, arguing that Deep state actors were spying on his campaign.
He appeared to indicate on Thursday that he was receptive to the Senators’ argument when he tweeted on Thursday that a select few Republicans were urging him to veto the bill.
“Many Republican Senators want me to Veto the FISA Bill until we find out what led to, and happened with, the illegal attempted ’coup’ of the duly elected President of the United States, and others!” he tweeted.
Many Republican Senators want me to Veto the FISA Bill until we find out what led to, and happened with, the illegal attempted “coup” of the duly elected President of the United States, and others!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 12, 2020
Lee took advantage of the president’s tweet while giving a lengthy floor speech where he criticized the House bill.
“He still has concerns with FISA and that many senators are pointing out the flaws in the reforms package passed by the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives this week, that many have encouraged him to veto that legislation,” Lee stated. “If the president of the United States himself has reason to be concerned about FISA, what about the rest of Americans?”
According to The Hill, that the president is interested in overhauling FISA reforms but is “carefully listening” to all Republicans concerned about the matter.
“There is a lot of interest in the significant reform that conservatives drove to completion to address the abuses of FISA against him and other innocent members of the 2016 campaign,” the official stated.
White Pill: Montana House Moves Constitutional Carry Bill Forward
Constitutional Carry is one ray of hope for the Right.
On January 20, 2021, the Montana House of Representatives passed Constitutional Carry legislation, HB102.
Weingarten provided some context to the significance of this bill’s progress:
The bill is the accumulation of a decade and a half of struggle against Democrat Governors, who have repeatedly vetoed reform legislation passed with large majorities in the legislature. Numerous sections in the bill show the Montana legislature has learned the lesson from other states as they restore the right to keep and bear arms.
Montana’s Senate is made up of 31 Republicans and 19 Democrats and Governor Greg Gianforte is a Republican, so the passage of this bill augurs well. If passed, HB102 would make Montana the 17th Constitutional Carry state.
Montana is already a very gun-friendly state, and represents a low-hanging fruit for Second Amendment activists to tap into.
Constitutional Carry has been one of the most successful movements on the Right over the past twenty years. It’s easy to complain about the corrupt status quo, but there are still plenty of ways right-wingers can score victories. Constitutional Carry is one of them.
It would behoove the Right to analyze existing trends and build off movements that are already producing results. There’s no need to embark on quixotic campaigns that end up being total fools’ errands. Find what’s already working and run with it.
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