Shorter FISA renewal period causing distress in Biden administration

House leadership’s move to change the expiration of a bill that would renew Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act appeased some Republican detractors while leaving the Biden administration deeply dissatisfied.

The House will vote on Friday on the new bill, which would reauthorize the powerful government spy program for two years instead of five years. Meanwhile, some in the Biden administration are “secretly freaking out” about the change despite the White House’s outward support for the bill, according to a source familiar with the administration’s thinking.

The source said the condensed renewal period would significantly strain the intelligence community as it works to conform to the dozens of reforms built into the new bill, all while facing the possibility that its most powerful national security tools will expire or be dramatically changed again in two years.

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