House GOP plans special closed-door meeting to address split on spy powers

House GOP plans special closed-door meeting to address split on spy powers

House Republicans are planning a conference meeting early next week to try to privately work out a longstanding split on how to change a controversial surveillance authority.

GOP leadership told members there would be an all-members meeting Monday night to discuss reauthorizing Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which expires at the end of the year. The authority is meant to target foreigners’ communications, but has stirred controversy as it also sweeps up Americans’ information.

The party hopes to iron out their remaining differences for an hour ahead of House votes, according to a Republican familiar with the planning. That gathering is in addition to the typical weekly Republican conference meeting Tuesday morning.

The Section 702 meeting comes after the Judiciary and Intelligence Committees advanced competing bills to reauthorize the law. Both bills are expected to come to the floor next week, effectively letting the House decide in real time which one gets sent to the Senate. While the two bills are similar, the Judiciary legislation includes a much broader warrant requirement to obtain Americans’ information, which some security hawks have branded unwieldy. It also makes sweeping changes that go well beyond just Section 702, including preventing data brokers from selling consumer information to law enforcement.

“My intention is to bring the bills … to the floor under a special rule that provides members a fair opportunity to vote in favor of their preferred measure,” Speaker Mike Johnson wrote to his conference.

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