For now, the National Security Agency will continue to collect the metadata of millions of Americans.
Following a spirited debate on the House floor Wednesday evening, House members rejected by a narrow margin a bill to limit the NSA’s sweeping collection of electronic records.
The bill, sponsored by Michigan Republican Representative Justin Amash, would have defunded the NSA’s bulk collection of records on millions of Americans and limited the collection to the records of people under investigation for international terrorism or foreign intelligence.
Amash’s bill was co-sponsored by Republican Reps. Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina and Thomas Massie of Kentucky, and Democratic Reps. John Conyers of Michigan and Jared Polis of Colorado.
The bill was defeated in a 205-217 vote, but both sides of the debate walked away from the House floor pleased with the result.
Michigan Republican Representative Mike Rogers, Chairman of the House Permanent Select Intelligence Committee, said on Twitter that he was proud the House “rejected (in bipartisan way) a reckless plan 2 defund impt NSA program” and “stood up 4 America’s security[sic].”
Amash tweeted, “We came close (205-217). If just 7 Reps had switched their votes, we would have succeeded. Thank YOU for making a difference. We fight on.”