Amash amendment to defund NSA snooping defeated

The House voted against the Fourth Amendment last night after a heated debate about the amendment that Representative Justin Amash (R-MI) introduced which would defund the NSA’s unconstitutional spying programs.

The vote was remarkably close, with 94 Republicans and 111 Democrats voting for the Amash amendment. More remarkable still was the unanimous opposition to the Amendment by both Republican and Democratic Leadership. As Roll Call reported:

The vote made for strange bedfellows. Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., all voted against the amendment. Pelosi spoke against the Amash’s amendment at a behind-closed-doors Caucus meeting Wednesday, according to a source in the room.

This debate really gets at the heart of the problem with the NSA spying programs. Those that spoke out against the bill said that it would cripple our national security. Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers (R-MI) said that it would set us back to where we were on “September 10.”

While of course national security is important, there is no reason for the NSA to collect millions of phone records and emails without a cause – and without a warrant. This is the exactly situation that the Fourth Amendment was written for, and it looks like a majority of our elected officials in the House are willing to destroy it.

As Representative Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) said last night, “It’s a question of balancing privacy and security. It’s a question of who will do the balancing. Right now, the balancing is being done by people we do not know, people we do not elect.”


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