Skip to comments.House Tramples Constitution Again to Save NSA Spying Program
Posted on 07/25/2013 7:59:41 AM PDT by xzins
Last night the Constitution was, we hope only temporarily defeated by the security at any cost surveillance state when, in a close vote, 94 establishment Republicans teamed with 111 Democrats to defeat Rep. Justin Amashs amendment to H.R. 2397, Department of Defense appropriations bill for fiscal year 2014.
Amashs amendment to the Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2014 would have limited the National Security Agencys use of taxpayer funds under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
Amashs amendment simply said: None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to collect tangible things (including telephone numbers dialed, telephone numbers of incoming calls, and the duration of calls) pursuant to an order under section 501 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (50 U.S.C. 1861) if such things do not pertain to a person who is the subject of an investigation described in such section.
This would have effectively prohibited the NSA from spending money collecting the phone records of anyone who is not an actually target of a national security investigation authorized by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC).
As Amash noted when this news of the NSA domestic surveillance program broke, The government is vacuuming up data on every call made by every customer of a major phone company. This sort of sweeping surveillance is not even plausibly authorized by statute, let alone the Constitution.
The astonishing amount of information the government is secretly seizing from Americans should shock anyone who has even a passing interest in privacy, civil liberties, or the Constitution, said Amash.
However, it apparently did not shock the House Republican leadership enough to cause them to defend constitutional principles against the demands of the voracious security apparatus President Obama is constructing with their now active support.
Almost to a man, and woman, the House Republican leadership, and those who aspire to join it, voted against the Amash amendment.
That House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers and House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon would vote against the amendment was no surprise they long ago bought into the fantasy that just because we have the technical capability of invading the privacy of every American doing so will contribute to our security.
But when Speaker John Boehner took the highly unusual step of voting in this case against the Amash amendment many otherwise solid conservatives, including practically all the Committee Chairmen and top members of the A Committees, followed the leader.
With a majority of the Majority clearly disposed in favor of the Amash amendment Boehners highly unusual step would appear to be a violation of the so-called Hastert Rule and his commitment not to move major legislation against the wishes of a majority of the House Republican Conference.
Among those otherwise reliable conservatives voting with Boehner were Michele Bachmann, who sits on the Intelligence Committee, House Judiciary Committee stalwart Lamar Smith of Texas, rising star Tom Cotton of Arkansas and a good number of the leading members of Tea Party wave class of 2010.
Among the leading Republicans to vote in favor of the Amash amendment were Marsha Blackburn, Vice Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Ted Poe, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade, rising conservative stars Trey Gowdy of South Carolina and Ron DeSantis of Florida, Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina and Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma, Republican Study Committee Chairman Steve Scalise and immediate past RSC Chairman Jim Jordan, and of course the tireless band of House conservative boat rockers led by Amash and including Tim Huelskamp, Tom Massie, Trey Radel, Steve Stockman and other principled limited government constitutional conservatives.
The great benefit of Amashs amendment, even in defeat, was that it put every Member of the House on the record with regard to the Obama NSAs overreach. Amashs amendment may have failed last night, but the debate is far from over, and now we know where to go to find the few votes we need to pass similar legislation in the future and which Republicans are so weak on the Constitution they may be ripe for a primary challenge.
For the complete roll call vote and Republican list of shame click here.
That is a clear 4th amendment violation. "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
I don't read anything in there about secret courts or randomly targeting citizens as a group.
I don’t know, but Michelle Bachmann is such a babbling idiot of woman, and Paul Ryan makes me want to throw up.
I am so sick of the ***damn GOP.
More Democrats voted for the amendment than Republicans: 111 vs 94. 134 Republicans voted against it.
I’m so done with the Republican Party.
“94 establishment Republicans teamed with 111 Democrats to defeat Rep. Justin Amashs amendment to H.R. 2397”
I thought the 94 pubs and 111 dems are the ones who voted for it, 134 pubs and 83 dems voted against it?
94 Republicans voted against me and they want me to vote for them.
Screw the Republican party.
I think a “no” vote was non-support for the amendment.
Sometimes that’s not the case.
They want our votes and money, but not our principles and values.
The “ayes” voted to end the surveillance.
Congress Votes To Continue NSA Spying On “EVERY PHONE CALL OF EVERY AMERICAN EVERYDAY!”
Decades ago we heard about Poindexter and his Total Information Awareness program.
Did any of really think that program was stopped after Poindexter got his second slap on the wrist?
If a Conservative Candidate is running I will support him/her as best I can, but the party can KMA.
If you have a chance to vote against something that is wrong, then vote against it. If you have a chance to vote for something that is right, then vote for it.
It’s simple: vote against wrong and vote for right.
Do the right thing.
Why, oh why, oh why? Another step down the road to dictatorship.
This does not surprise me. We have been a tyranny for a while. Now all that’s left is turning the screws.
For example, within 1 to 5 years, I would expect that my writing the above sentence should get me immediately apprehended and arrested, convicted for Seditious and Traitorous Speech.
I really hope there are conservatives with someballs to primary these idiots to the point of it being a bloodbath!!! I am sick and tired of my rights and my country being voted away.
Noes-217 134 pubs 83 dems
Ayes-205 94 pubs 111 dems
The amendment was defeated (217 noes), NSA gets to listen in.
Or am I just really confused here that it seems like 94 pubs and 111 dems didn’t team up to defeat the amendment?
Supporting the amendment that would have ended the NSA’s listening to everyone were 94 pubs and 111 dems.
Against the amendment were 134 pubs and 83 dems.
I am so sick of the ***damn GOP.
Time for Sarah Palin to FORM a NEW POLITICAL PARTY.