The U.S. House of Representatives voted to renew Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act after contentious debate Friday. Before the vote to renew, a tie-vote killed an amendment that would have required intelligence agencies to get a warrant to collect information from Americans.

The law, which allows intelligence agencies to spy on foreign entities and American citizens in the name of national security, has become the “most vetted and discussed topic” in the last six months, said Utah Rep. Blake Moore, the vice chairman of the Republican Conference.

Before the vote, Moore told the Deseret News, “FISA must be reformed and FISA must not expire.” He voted against the amendment, which failed to pass on a 212-212 vote, and was the only Utah representative to do so, but he was joined by House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., in opposing the change.

Moore, said Republican “leadership from the (House Speaker Mike Johnson) on down are very, very supportive of holding the FBI accountable ... but don’t want the word warrant requirement injected into this,” he added. “If you require the warrant amendment into this baseline FISA bill, it will render FISA useless and it puts America at risk.”

In a statement released after the vote, Moore said he voted “in favor of the Reforming Security and Intelligence Act (RISA) which contains a vital set of 56 long-overdue reforms to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). I am proud of my colleagues on the Judiciary and Intelligence Committees for hammering out a strong compromise that will protect U.S. national security, prevent the FBI from abusing the program for political purposes, and protect our constitutional rights.”

He said he voted against the warrant amendment because it called for “an unprecedented super warrant requirement for lawfully collected data on foreign nationals.” He also said, “federal courts have ruled that Section 702 collections do not violate the Fourth Amendment or restrict American constitutional rights because they specifically target foreign nationals abroad who are not protected by the U.S. Constitution to begin with.”

Utah Republican Reps. John Curtis, Celeste Maloy and Burgess Owens voted in support of the warrant amendment.

After the vote, Owens, who represents Utah’s 4th District, told the Deseret News this amendment gave Congress a chance to protect Americans’ right to the Fourth Amendment, which provides guarantees against unreasonable government searches and seizures. He said that there are good people on both sides of the debate; they simply have different priorities.

“The fact is we’ve seen the weaponization of the CIA and the FBI ... and what they’ve been doing for the last four years. It’s illegal. It’s unconstitutional. It’s unpatriotic,” Owens said.

Curtis, who represents the 3rd District, posted a video on X explaining his reason for advocating for a warrant requirement. “We balance our security and our freedom,” he said. But, he noted, “the FBI had literally used it hundreds and hundreds of times to spy on Americans,” adding, “everybody knew that it needed to be revised.”

He explained the debate in simplified terms: “For instance, if a terrorist sent an email to a U.S. citizen, and the FBI wanted to read the email of the U.S. citizen, did they have the authority based on this act, or because they’re a U.S. citizen were they not able to do it?”

Utah Sen. Mike Lee was spotted on the House floor ahead of the FISA reauthorization vote. He criticized the representatives who opposed the warrant amendment, saying it “wouldn’t destroy the national-security benefits of FISA.”

Shortly after the amendment was rejected, the House voted on the Reforming Security and Intelligence Act. This bill, passed with 273 votes in favor to 147, contains 56 reforms. According to Johnson, it would ensure intelligence agencies can’t abuse the system. “No more Steele dossier, no more of the intelligence community relying on fake news reports to order a FISA order, no more collusion,” Johnson said.

Owens said he sees the changes as positive since they will require FISA reauthorization every two years instead of five, signaling it as a win especially if former President Donald Trump is elected in November. The FISA would expire under his watch, leaving the door open for more reform.

Maloy, who represents Utah’s 2nd District, shared the same disappointment over certain provisions that “didn’t make it into the final bill,” but, she added, “I’ll work with my Senate colleagues to secure even more safeguards,” according to a press release.

She, too, said she supports “increased civil and criminal penalties for violating Americans’ Fourth Amendment rights.”

After the FISA bill was approved, Rep. Anna Paulina Luna, R-Fla., objected, requesting a vote to reconsider it. Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, in a post on X said, “It’s not over,” calling for the FISA reauthorization to be halted over its lack of protection for Americans.

As the Hill reported, Johnson, previously a critic of FISA, has changed his tune and instead championed its renewal. His every move is already under scrutiny since Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., recently filed a motion to oust him.

Owens said he recognized the “crummy position” Johnson is in, given the very slim majority House Republicans have right now. Although Owens and Johnson disagree on the warrant amendment, he said he respects the speaker’s view and his devotion to conservatism.

Johnson is also in conflict with Trump and members of the House Judiciary Committee.

The speaker told reporters Wednesday that when he was on the Judiciary Committee, he saw FISA being abused over and over again.

“And then when I became speaker, I went to the (sensitive compartmented information facility) and got the confidential briefing from sort of the other perspective on that, to understand the necessity of Section 702 of FISA and how important it is for national security. And it gave me a different perspective,” he said.

Trump in a post last Friday attempted to hinder the House’s attempt to extend the surveillance program.

“KILL FISA, IT WAS ILLEGALLY USED AGAINST ME, AND MANY OTHERS. THEY SPIED ON MY CAMPAIGN!!!” he said on Truth Social. His campaign was accused of being in collusion with Russian officials and spies after the FBI conducted surveillance on Carter Page, Trump’s former campaign manager, but after a lengthy investigation, these allegations were debunked.

Alongside Johnson, the White House also strongly opposed the amendment to attach warrant requirements, saying it “would rebuild a wall around, and this block our access to already lawfully collected information in the possession of the U.S. government.”

“The extensive harms of this proposal simply cannot be mitigated,” the statement said.

Their reasoning is the same cited by former national security adviser Robert O’Brien, former national intelligence director John Ratcliffe and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo — all of whom are Trump’s closest advisers, Rep. Moore said during his interview.

According to Axios, one official from Trump’s circle said the reformed package addresses the former president’s concerns of improper uses of Section 702. It even prohibits political opposition research.