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News Wrap: House Democrats shelve FISA bill after Trump’s veto threat

In our news wrap Thursday, House Democratic leaders shelved a bill to renew government surveillance tools. The move followed President Trump’s promise to veto, after which congressional Republicans “abandoned their commitment to security,” according to Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Meanwhile, Trump signed an executive order aimed at social media companies, accusing them of bias against conservatives.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    In the day's other news: China's National People's Congress ratified plans for a national security law to tighten Beijing's control over Hong Kong.

    The ceremonial legislature's action means that the new law could take effect in September. The proposal has sparked new protests in Hong Kong.

    We will take a closer look later in the program.

    Back in Washington, House Democratic leaders have shelved a bill to renew surveillance tools after President Trump promised a veto. He has linked provisions in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, known as FISA, to what he calls abuses in the Russia investigation.

    Today, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi blamed Republicans for following his lead.

  • Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.:

    The president said he would veto the bill, so all of the Republicans then abandoned their commitment to security, and said that they were going to vote against the bill. This has always been bipartisan.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Progressive Democrats in the House also came out against the surveillance bill.

    Today, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy defended the Republicans' reversal in the light of the veto threat.

  • Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.:

    There was a concern that this was not going to be signed. So I said, why don't you pause, and why don't we work on this with the administration?

    Because I'm not interested in doing some political game, because I believe FISA is very important. And let's solve the concerns and let's make law.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    The bill originally passed the House with bipartisan support, but was amended in the Senate. Now the two chambers will negotiate.

    President Trump signed an executive order today aimed at social media companies. He accused them of bias against conservatives, and he directed federal agencies to consider rolling back their legal liability protections. The president acted after Twitter instituted fact-checks on two of his tweets. The tweets claimed, without proof, that mail-in voting is rife with fraud.

    A battle over balloting in Texas is moving to the federal courts. That's after the all-Republican state Supreme Court blocked mail-in voting for those who cite fear of the coronavirus. State Democrats favor expanded voting by mail, and they say they will pursue a separate federal lawsuit.

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