“The House on Wednesday rejected an attempt to curtail the National Security Agency’s surveillance activities after a furious last-minute lobbying campaign by the White House to defeat the measure,” Jeremy Herb reports for The Hill.

“The House voted 205-217 against the amendment from Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), which would have prevented the National Security Agency from using the Patriot Act to collect phone records of individuals who aren’t under investigation,” Herb reports. “A majority of Democrats — 111 — voted for Amash’s amendment despite the White House pressure, while 83 Democrats voted no. The GOP vote was 94-134.”

“Amash’s amendment to the Defense Appropriations bill pitted liberal Democrats and libertarian Republicans opposed to the NSA’s massive surveillance activities against both parties’ leadership and the Obama administration,” Herb reports. “Wednesday’s vote came after the White House and lawmakers who support the NSA’s surveillance activities launched a major offensive against Amash’s measure after it was granted a vote Monday evening.”

Herb reports, “On Tuesday, White House press secretary Jay Carney issued a rare evening statement announcing the White House’s opposition. ‘We oppose the current effort in the House to hastily dismantle one of our Intelligence Community’s counterterrorism tools,’ Carney wrote.

“The House also voted Wednesday on a more-limited NSA measure from Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) to prevent the agency from intentionally targeting U.S. citizens. It was approved in a 409-12 vote,” Herb reports. “Supporters of Amash’s proposal said that the alternative NSA amendment only re-stated prohibitions against targeting Americans that were already in place. ‘This amendment would have no impact whatsoever on the misuses of Section 215 [of the Patriot Act],’ Rep. Jarrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said.

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader "John" for the heads up.]

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