While he may not be close to becoming Speaker of the House, Justin Amash has slowly but surely become one of the more prominent Republicans in the rebellious wing of the House conference, as evidenced Monday when he effectively forced the actual Speaker of the House, John Boehner, to allow a vote on his amendment to partially defund the National Security Agency as part of the Department of Defense appropriations process. The revelations that the NSA had been collecting the phone and Internet data of millions of Americans en masse has given Amash a prime opportunity to move forward with some of his most important priorities.
Tomorrow the the house will vote on Amash’s HR 2397 amendment which will remove funding for NSA programs using the Patriot Act for blanket collection of phone records and metadata from phone service providers.
The summary of the amendment on the House of Representatives website reads:
Ends authority for the blanket collection of records under the Patriot Act. Bars the NSA and other agencies from using Section 215 of the Patriot Act to collect records, including telephone call records, that pertain to persons who are not subject to an investigation under Section 215.
NSA defenders in the Senate, especially Diane Feinstein and Saxby Chambliss, are flipping out. Today the National Security Head, Keith Alexander, scheduled a last-minute, members-only ‘top secret’ briefing. The invitation warned members that they could not share what they learned with their constituents or others. “The briefing will be held at the Top Secret/SCI level and will be strictly Members-Only,” reads the invite.
No matter what the results of tomorrows vote, the Amash amendment will put the House Representatives on record when it comes to NSA ‘snooping’. Voters will easily be able to find out WHICH REPRESENTATIVES favor tossing our 4th and 5th Amendments down “the toilet”.
As SOON as I have the information I will publish the ROLL CALL here so everyone knows how their representatives voted on limiting NSA mass surveillance. I will also include how U.S. House Representatives voted on the 2014 NDAA, which provides for arming and militarily aiding Al-Qaeda Syrian Rebels (yes, the ones that are massacring Christians, among others) and takes away American citizen’s rights to due process. I will also include the Roll Call for CISPA which aids dragnet surveillance by destroying private corporation’s “freedom of contract”, actually PROHIBITING companies from making legally binding commitment to users not to share personal data/e-mails. (Click here to find out how CISPA aids NSA ‘Dragnet Surveillance’.)