RELEASE: Rep. Cloud Opposes Extension of Warrantless Spying on Americans

Apr 10, 2024
Press

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Michael Cloud (R-TX) voted against a House rule for consideration of a bill that would extend authority for federal agencies to spy on American citizens without a warrant.

The authority refers to Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which allows agencies of the U.S. government to engage in mass surveillance of Americans’ texts, phone calls, cell phone data, emails, and other electronic communications without a warrant – raising grave privacy and Constitutional concerns. Rep. Cloud has previously voted against similar bills that extend such authority during this Congress and has made it clear he will not vote for bills that allow for warrantless spying.

Rep. Cloud released the following statement:

“The Constitution is not a set of recommendations or suggestions,” said Rep. Cloud. “It is the limit on our government. Our first job in Congress should be to protect the peoples’ liberties from government intrusion, and allowing for warrantless spying on American citizens is a grave violation of those liberties. This is a red line for me and should not be a partisan issue. If you need to surveil someone, get a warrant.”

The rule failed by a vote of 193 – 228, which means FISA reauthorization is stalled for now. Today’s vote has followed several months of debate in Congress on how to proceed with FISA Reauthorization, where Rep. Cloud has previously expressed openness to supporting an alternative bill out of the House Judiciary Committee, placing a far greater emphasis on privacy rights and protecting Americans from warrantless spying.

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