House slated to vote on FISA before end of the month

House slated to vote on FISA before end of the month
© Greg Nash

House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerOvernight Defense: Democrats expand probe into State IG's firing | House schedules late June votes with defense bill on deck | New Navy secretary sworn in House scheduled to return for votes in late June House pushes back schedule to pass spending bills MORE (D-Md.) announced on Friday that he expects the House to vote to reauthorize the FREEDOM Reauthorization Act of 2020 (FISA) before the end of the month.

The announcement comes just one day after the upper chamber passed legislation reauthorizing three intelligence programs that lapsed earlier this year.

"Madam Speaker, members are advised no votes are expected in the House next week. Members are further advised that the House will be in session on Wednesday, May 27 and [Thursday] May 28. As everyone knows, the Senate has amended the House-passed FISA bill, a very important piece of legislation which will require the House to act again," Hoyer said on the floor Friday evening. "I expect that to be considered on the 27th.

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"I also expect conversations to continue on additional legislation addressing the COVID-19 pandemic," he continued. "The House can vote on COVID-19-related bills on May 27 and 28. I am pleased that the House has adopted a resolution to allow the committees to work remotely. I look forward to getting our committees back up and running so they can begin having hearings and markups on critical legislation."

While the House passed its FISA bill earlier this year, the Senate amended the measure to add more legal protections for certain individuals targeted by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

Although the House passed legislation along party lines to allow for remote committee work and proxy voting shortly before the announcement, Hoyer said he expects a sizable number of members in Washington for the vote.

"We expect a good turnout of members on both sides of the aisle to be in the chamber when we meet," he said. "We do know, however, there are members who for health reasons – either their own health or the health of one of their family members – [or] transportation issues ... [will be unable to meet in-person], but our expectation is there will be a good number of members.

"We do not expect there to be 20 members here; [we] expect there to be many more," he added.

Hoyer's comments come in the wake of Republicans voicing concerns over proxy voting giving too much control to certain members, as well as the security of conducting certain committees work remotely. 

Members are expected to be provided with 72 hours notice before being called back to Washington.