House Rejects Effort to Curb NSA Phone Surveillance
Perhaps it’s good that certain teabagger politicians lost today. But so did the sound policy of returning to our customary protections.
Washington (CNN) — The U.S. House on Wednesday narrowly defeated a proposal to sharply restrict the National Security Agency’s phone surveillance program that was exposed by Edward Snowden.
A coalition of libertarian, liberal and conservative lawmakers pushed for curbs on the blanket collection of those records, arguing that it was too broad and intrusive.
The restriction, proposed as an amendment to a defense spending bill, was defeated 217 to 205.
Snowden, a former NSA contractor, revealed details of the bulk phone tracking effort and a companion e-mail collection initiative through leaks of classified information to media outlets last m
Conyers, the lead Democratic co-sponsor of the amendment, told reporters after the vote that pressure on members to vote against Amash was “heavy.”
He said Democratic leadership may not have been engaging in a formal whip operation, but “there was one in existence” against it.
“They were very worried,” said Conyers, the ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee. “And the fact that they won this narrowly means they still are worried because this thing isn’t over yet. This is just the beginning.”
111 Democrats voted for this amendment. Only 94 Republicans. There were more Democrats in support for this than GOP.