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US Democrats in House of Representatives Pull Vote on Surveillance Bill Extension

Sputnik News

06:27 GMT 28.05.2020(updated 06:36 GMT 28.05.2020)

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Leading Democrats in the US House of Representatives have pulled a vote to reauthorize three surveillance programs, which the Federal Bureau of Investigation views as a vital tool in defending against terrorism, after President Donald Trump urged lawmakers to oppose the bill.

"Members are advised that votes are no longer expected in the House tonight. Tomorrow, the House meets at 9:00 a.m. [13:00 GMT] for legislative business," US House Majority leader Steny Hoyer's team said in a statement late on Wednesday.

The bill relates to the renewal of three authorities under the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) that expired on March 15. The bill passed the US Senate on May 14 but was returned to the House of Representatives due to changes to enhance legal protections.

Trump has since urged Republicans to reject the legislation until a probe into alleged FISA abuses by former US President Barack Obama's administration is completed. The US Department of Justice also in the past week publicly called for the FISA renewal bill to be vetoed.

The bill has also been slammed by various civil society advocacy groups, who claim that its renewal will allow investigators to conduct de facto surveillance on millions of US citizens without warrants or court permission.

© Sputnik

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