After a fiery debate this week over the balance between liberty and security — a debate that created some unusual alliances in Washington — the House of Representatives on Wednesday rejected a bill that would’ve put an end the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of U.S. phone records.
The House voted 217 to 205 to reject a measure that would’ve stripped the NSA of its assumed authority under the Patriot Act to collect records in bulk — the security agency would have to show that a specific individual is under investigation before collecting such information. The measure was voted on as an amendment to a Defense spending bill — even if the amendment had passed, it’s unlikely it would have survived in the Democratic-led Senate or against the opposition of the White House.
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The proposal this week garnered passionate support from civil liberties advocates but also saw fierce opposition from those concerned with hamstringing the nation’s intelligence gathering.
“We are here today for a very simple reason, to defend the Fourth Amendment, to defend the privacy of each and every American,” Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., the amendment’s sponsor, said on the House floor. Opponents of the measure, he said, “will use the same tactics that every government throughout history has used to justify its violation of rights.”
Read More at CBS News . By Stephanie Condon.
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