Live Mic: Stewart, Lee on opposite sides of surveillance reform bill

Mar 12, 2020, 3:22 PM
Chris Stewart surveillance reform...
File photo of Rep. Chris Stewart. (Photo: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)
(Photo: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — In a rare moment of bipartisan compromise, the U.S. House passed a bill Wednesday on surveillance reform. But President Donald Trump was mulling a veto Thursday.

The House approved the measure on a bipartisan majority of 278-136, with 152 Democrats and 126 Republicans supporting the surveillance reform legislation. All four Utah congressmen voted in favor.

Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, said it was the right thing to do before the three provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, expire on Sunday.

But Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, is urging President Donald Trump to veto it.

“I’m going to use every option at my disposal to stop the House bill and to offer up amendments,” Lee told Politico. “I have given no one any reason to believe that I would be unwilling to let the clock run out.

“The House FISA deal doesn’t fix what’s wrong with FISA,” the Utah senator wrote.

In favor of surveillance reform

Stewart joined Lee Lonsberry on Live Mic to explain his support for the bill.

“If we don’t reauthorize this [bill] with these reforms, then FISA doesn’t change,” said Stewart. “It’s not a matter of doing these reforms or doing more reforms. It’s a matter of doing this or nothing. FISA is not going away.”

He said the choice is to implement the reforms or have FISA abused in the future.

“This is not a Democrat bill,” Stewart said. “This is a bill that we could not have passed if House Republicans had been in the majority.

“That’s the real irony here. We got a vast number of Republicans and Democrats to support this. This is based on mostly my legislation,” Stewart said on the show.

President Trump wants change

President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr, who reportedly backs the House bill, met with Democrats and Republicans last week. At the meeting, the president said he would not support a clean extension of the expiring provisions, according to Politico.

Mr. Trump has criticized FISA after it was used to monitor Carter Page, a former campaign adviser to the president, during the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and the campaign’s contacts with Moscow.

A Justice Department inspector general report found no evidence of political bias in opening investigations into four of Mr. Trump’s campaign associates but criticized a surveillance-warrant application to wiretap Page.

“So far, I have not seen anything that would satisfy me,” Lee said Tuesday about the House version of the bill.

“I will be putting forward an amendment that says FISA shouldn’t be used on Americans, and we’ll see where that goes,” said Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who is another FISA opponent.


Live Mic with Lee Lonsberry can be heard weekdays from 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app.

Today’s Top Stories


(Getty Images)...
Mark Jones

Man in possession of fentanyl pills, heroin arrested at SLC airport

A Weber County man was charged in court after being arrested last week in possession of roughly 4,100 fentanyl pills and 378 dosages of heroin.
1 day ago
University of utah sign pictured, an assault off campus at a frat house is being investigated...
Becky Bruce

SLCPD investigating reported sexual assault at frat house near University of Utah

An alert went out to University of Utah faculty, staff and students saying the sexual assault happened at the Pi Kappa Alpha frat house.
1 day ago
Wayne Hsiung (front) holds a piglet at Circle Four Farms in Milford, Utah (Credit: Direct Action Ev...
Elizabeth Weiler

Day 1 in ‘landmark case’ for animal rights

Animal rights activists are facing charges in the first day of in court.
1 day ago
Maria Astorga-Chavez (left) was last seen in August of 2015 with Francisco Jesus Huerta-Martinez. H...
Chris Jacobs

Suspect in 2015 murder of West Valley City woman arrested

The suspect was on the run from law enforcement for seven years at the time of his arrest. Francisco Jesus Huerta-Martinez is now in jail.
1 day ago
At least 127 people are dead and hundreds more injured, police say, after chaos and violence erup...
Heather Chen, Raja Razek and Kareem El Damanhoury, CNN

Indonesia stadium riot: At least 127 people reported dead following soccer match, police say

At least 127 people are dead and hundreds more injured, police say, after chaos and violence erupted late on Saturday following an Indonesian league soccer match between two of the nation's biggest teams.
3 days ago
Lisa Garner. Photo credit Draper City....
Mark Jones

Lisa Garner has support of Draper mayor to become next city judge

Draper Mayor Troy Walker is seeking the appointment of Lisa Garner as the city's next judge. The appointment must be approved by the city council on Oct. 4.
4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
large group of friends tohether in a park having fun...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

What differentiates BYU’s MBA program from other MBA programs

Commitment to service is at the heart of BYU’s MBA program, which makes it stand out among other MBA programs across the country.
a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Live Mic: Stewart, Lee on opposite sides of surveillance reform bill