Home News Pelosi pulls vote on FISA bill after Trump veto threat, dissension within Dems

Pelosi pulls vote on FISA bill after Trump veto threat, dissension within Dems

by Paul Goldberg

With opposition coming from both from Republicans and within her own party, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was forced to delay a vote on her FISA bill.

Breitbart reports Pelosi decided to cancel Wednesday’s vote on the FISA reauthorization after President Donald Trump signaled his opposition to the bill. The bill faced increasing opposition as Wednesday progressed, and Pelosi failed to galvanize a coalition that could pass an extension of the FISA program.

Trump wrote on Wednesday, “If the FISA Bill is passed tonight on the House floor, I will quickly VETO it.”

According to TheHill, a source familiar told The Hill that Pelosi made the decision to pull the vote after her office spoke with the White House legislative affairs office.

It wasn’t immediately clear when, or if, Pelosi would bring the bill up for a vote. The House will be in session on Thursday and the legislation is listed for “possible consideration.” She had floated earlier Wednesday that if the Senate-amended bill could not pass the House, she would try to send back an initial version that passed the House in March, but did not make an announcement on Wednesday night regarding her plans.

The pivot Wednesday caps off an uncertain 24 hours for the legislation after President Trump on Tuesday night urged Republicans to oppose the measure. The bill reauthorizes three surveillance programs under the USA Freedom Act, a 2015 intelligence reform law, and makes some changes to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court.

Headaches for Pelosi continued to pile up on Wednesday as House GOP leadership announced it would oppose the bill and urge Republicans to vote against it, even though more than 120 supported the initial bill in March.

“We just formally announced a whip against it because, number one, it’s not going to become law. Number two, there are still so many questions that need to be answered about real abuses that happened in the FISA system,” Minority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) said at a press conference.

Trump called House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) on Wednesday morning and requested that he whip against the measure.

“We mounted an aggressive whip effort all day. Democrats were banking on picking off some of our members to get them over the top and tried to work that, but we held our members together, and because of that, Democrats couldn’t get there and had to pull the bill,” the source said. “Trump and Scalise spoke again tonight after the bill was pulled.”

House Democratic leaders had said they would hold a vote on the bill Wednesday, and as of 8 p.m., Hoyer was still sending out notices saying a vote on the bill was expected that evening. Hoyer also made calls to moderate Republicans in an effort to gather enough support to push the bill through Wednesday night, one GOP lawmaker told The Hill.

But opposition continued to solidify on Wednesday, with Trump vowing to veto the bill if it passed the House.

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