NSA Can Keep Snooping After Close House Vote
Amendment would have stopped the collection of phone records
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 24, 2013 6:57 PM CDT
Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich. walks through a basement tunnel to the House of Representatives on Capitol Hill Wednesday. His amendment to curb NSA powers failed, but it was close.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – The NSA can keep collecting the phone records of Americans, but the surveillance program just barely survived a bipartisan effort to rein it in, reports the Hill. An amendment by Michigan Republican Justin Amash would have prevented the agency from gathering data under the program revealed by Edward Snowden, but the measure failed by 12 votes after heavy pressure from the White House. Despite that pressure, 111 Democrats voted with Amash to curtail the program. The vote united "libertarian-leaning Republicans and liberal Democrats" who were worried about privacy violations, says the Wall Street Journal. It also managed to unite the White House with House Republican leaders for once, notes the New York Times.

Under Amash's proposal, the NSA could collect phone records only if they pertained to an individual who was under investigation. The mass "metadata" gathering would end. The prospect worried the nation's top intelligence officials, who made last-minute pleas to lawmakers to keep the tool in place. White House spokesman Jay Carney even made what the Hill calls a rare evening statement before the vote calling the amendment misguided.

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Showing 3 of 71 comments
BenDunn
Jul 25, 2013 11:30 AM CDT
Heavy Pressure from the Whitehorse Obama's true colors are showing again!!!!
Shootskas
Jul 25, 2013 9:27 AM CDT
And when the corrupt courts look at this, they will say the administration's actions do not violate The Constitution. And when the next president comes into office, the same policies will be enforced, contrary to campaign promises. The system is corrupt. Why can they get away with this? Because half of the country claims to be "liberal" and the other half claims to be "conservative". Liberals and Conservatives are always in dramatic opposition with each other. Why? Because that is the way we were raised and that is the way the media are spinning it. This dramatic opposition allows those in power to do what they wish. Divide and conquer.
Observer
Jul 25, 2013 8:38 AM CDT
Proof that the Police State is in control. Permanent spying on all US citizens FOR NO REASON defines the Gestapo threat. Tracking all phone records is absolutely treacherous and anti-constitutional. There is no justification. The Generals and Spies need to be outed and these systems destroyed. Republicans support this insanity. What is the cost to taxpayers? And what is the return? How many attacks have actually been stopped? How many dangerous people have actually been intercepted? (That were not set up by the FBI itself.) They do not protect us. They threaten us. Demand an end to these criminal acts.