Defund NSA amendment efforts fell in defeat on the floor of the US House of Representatives Wednesday night by a vote of 217 to 205.
The add-on to Department of Defense appropriations would have restricted the powers of the National Security Agency’s phone spying program that has come under harsh rebuke from Democrats and Republicans alike.
Just not enough Democrats and Republicans alike.
The Inquisitr reported on Tuesday that the Defund NSA amendment would move forward to a vote either Wednesday night or Thursday morning. The Washington Post report confirming the amendment’s defeat was issued at 6:55 p.m. EST on Wednesday.
In an unusual show of bipartisanship, Michigan Republican Rep. Justin Amash, a 33-year-old libertarian, partnered with 84-year-old liberal Democratic Rep. John Conyers, also of Michigan, on the proposal.
Describing how the amendment would have worked, Amash said the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court would have to issue an “order for funds to be used by the NSA” and that “the court order would have to have a statement limiting the collection of records to those records that pertain to a person under investigation.”
Amash continued: “If the court order doesn’t have that statement, the NSA doesn’t receive the funding to collect those records.”
The defeat was a victory for President Obama, who has championed the NSA spy programs since whistleblower Edward Snowden broke the news of NSA PRISM’s existence in May.
Snowden’s leaks revealed that NSA PRISM has been considerably more active since President Obama took office.
The issue has certainly been one to make allies in unlikely places. On Wednesday night, Republican tea party sympathizer, Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, even affirmed the pro-PRISM belief that Snowden is a traitor.
Bachmann said she voted against the Defund NSA amendment because “telephone records are not considered private property,” adding that Snowden’s decision to leak information on the program was “not an act of a patriot, this was an act of a traitor.”
If you’re wondering who the other names were to vote against the amendment, The New York Times has a full breakdown.
Of those for the amendment, 94 were Republicans and 111 were Democrats. Those against: 134 were Republicans and 83 Democrats. So, for once, it looks like President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and the Republican Party, all agree on something.
They can spy on you whenever they want. And why shouldn’t they, America? What are you going to do about it?
Are you surprised the Defund NSA amendment failed to pass?
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