Amash-Conyers anti-NSA amendment lost by 12 votes, 205-217

As we reported earlier, Republican Justin Amash (MI-03) and Democrat John Conyers (MI-13) jointly introduced an amendment to the Pentagon spending bill now going through the House that would bar the NSA from spending any money to perform surveillance on any citizen who is not already the subject of an investigation.

From the fact sheet at Amash’s site (my emphasis and some reparagraphing):

Amash Amendment #100: Stop NSA’s Blanket Surveillance of Americans

On Wednesday, the House will have its first floor debate over NSA’s blanket collection of Americans’ telephone records.  The Amash-Conyers amendment—and only the Amash-Conyers amendment—ends the indiscriminate collection of those records.  The amendment limits the government’s collection of records under Section 215 of the Patriot Act to those records that pertain to a person who is subject to an investigation under that provision. …

The Amash-Conyers amendment ends NSA’s blanket collection of Americans’ telephone records.  It does this by requiring the FISA court under Sec. 215 to order the production of records that pertain only to a person under investigation.

The amendment has three important practical effects.

First, it ends the mass surveillance of Americans.  The government no longer is authorized under Sec. 215 to hold a pool of metadata on every phone call of every American.

Second, the amendment permits the government to continue to acquire business records and other “tangible things” that are actually related to an authorized counterterrorism investigation.  The government still has access to this tool under the amendment, but it’s forced to comply with the intent of Congress when it passed Sec. 215.

Third, the amendment imposes more robust judicial oversight of NSA’s surveillance.  The FISA court will be involved every time NSA searches Americans’ records, and the court will have a substantive, statutory standard to apply to make sure the NSA does not violate Americans’ civil liberties. …

Seems straightforward. The text of the amendment is here (pdf). The amendment is cleverly designed to be ruled in order by the House Parliamentarian whether the Speaker wants it brought to the floor or not.

Congress via Shutterstock

Congress via Shutterstock

To counter, Boehner and Pelosi brought another amendment — sponsored by Mike Pompeo, as it turns out, instead of Rich Nugent, as originally reported — to provide a “fig-leaf” place to vote for members who needed to sell the appearance of caring about privacy. That passed 409-12. Hurray for the twelve, though a Yes vote was meaningless by design, so no harm done. (Why Pompeo instead of Nugent? You’ll see below.)

Naturally, Boehner hated the Amash-Conyers amendment. Naturally, so did Obama. As the New York Times put it (h/t Glenn Greenwald; emphasis his):

Conservative Republicans leery of what they see as Obama administration abuses of power teamed up with liberal Democrats long opposed to intrusive intelligence programs. The Obama administration made common cause with the House Republican leadership to try to block it.

So there, lovers of liberty; it’s heroes and villains time.

Who are the heroes? Who are the villains?

I haven’t analyzed this data yet, but I want to put it before you, since it matters. Anyone who voted Yes on Amash-Conyers, for whatever reason, is a hero. Anyone who voted No is a villain.

Here are the votes, via the House clerk’s website. Republicans in Roman (standard) type. Democrats in Italic type. Independents are underlined. I’ve added some preliminary bolding.

Vote Summary

Ayes Noes PRES NV
Republican 94 134 6
Democratic 111 83 6
Independent
TOTALS 205 217   12

Yes Votes on Amash-Conyers (the Heroes)

Amash
Amodei
Bachus
Barton
Bass
Becerra
Bentivolio
Bishop (UT)
Black
Blackburn
Blumenauer
Bonamici
Brady (PA)
Braley (IA)
Bridenstine
Broun (GA)
Buchanan
Burgess
Capps
Capuano
Cárdenas
Carson (IN)
Cartwright
Cassidy
Chabot
Chaffetz
Chu
Cicilline
Clarke
Clay
Cleaver
Clyburn
Coffman
Cohen
Connolly
Conyers
Courtney
Cramer
Crowley
Cummings
Daines
Davis, Danny
Davis, Rodney
DeFazio
DeGette
DeLauro
DelBene
DeSantis
DesJarlais
Deutch
Dingell
Doggett
Doyle
Duffy
Duncan (SC)
Duncan (TN)
Edwards
Ellison
Eshoo
Farenthold
Farr
Fattah
Fincher
Fitzpatrick
Fleischmann
Fleming
Fudge
Gabbard
Garamendi
Gardner
Garrett
Gibson
Gohmert
Gosar
Gowdy
Graves (GA)
Grayson
Green, Gene
Griffin (AR)
Griffith (VA)
Grijalva
Hahn
Hall
Harris
Hastings (FL)
Holt
Honda
Huelskamp
Huffman
Huizenga (MI)
Hultgren
Jeffries
Jenkins
Johnson (OH)
Jones
Jordan
Keating
Kildee
Kingston
Labrador
LaMalfa
Lamborn
Larson (CT)
Lee (CA)
Lewis
Loebsack
Lofgren
Lowenthal
Lujan Grisham (NM)
Luján, Ben Ray (NM)
Lummis
Lynch
Maffei
Maloney, Carolyn
Marchant
Massie
Matsui
McClintock
McCollum
McDermott
McGovern
McHenry
McMorris Rodgers
Meadows
Mica
Michaud
Miller, Gary
Miller, George
Moore
Moran
Mullin
Mulvaney
Nadler
Napolitano
Neal
Nolan
Nugent
O’Rourke
Owens
Pascrell
Pastor (AZ)
Pearce
Perlmutter
Perry
Petri
Pingree (ME)
Pocan
Poe (TX)
Polis
Posey
Price (GA)
Radel
Rahall
Rangel
Ribble
Rice (SC)
Richmond
Roe (TN)
Rohrabacher
Ross
Rothfus
Roybal-Allard
Rush
Salmon
Sánchez, Linda T.
Sanchez, Loretta
Sanford
Sarbanes
Scalise
Schiff
Schrader
Schweikert
Scott (VA)
Sensenbrenner
Serrano
Shea-Porter
Sherman
Smith (MO)
Smith (NJ)
Southerland
Speier
Stewart
Stockman
Swalwell (CA)
Takano
Thompson (MS)
Thompson (PA)
Tierney
Tipton
Tonko
Tsongas
Vela
Velázquez
Walz
Waters
Watt
Waxman
Weber (TX)
Welch
Williams
Wilson (SC)
Yarmuth
Yoder
Yoho
Young (AK)

No Votes on Amash-Conyers (the Villains)

Aderholt
Alexander
Andrews
Bachmann
Barber
Barr
Barrow (GA)
Benishek
Bera (CA)
Bilirakis
Bishop (GA)
Bishop (NY)
Boehner
Bonner
Boustany
Brady (TX)
Brooks (AL)
Brooks (IN)
Brown (FL)
Brownley (CA)
Bucshon
Butterfield
Calvert
Camp
Cantor
Capito
Carney
Carter
Castor (FL)
Castro (TX)
Cole
Collins (GA)
Collins (NY)
Conaway
Cook
Cooper
Costa
Cotton
Crawford
Crenshaw
Cuellar
Culberson
Davis (CA)
Delaney
Denham
Dent
Diaz-Balart
Duckworth
Ellmers
Engel
Enyart
Esty
Flores
Forbes
Fortenberry
Foster
Foxx
Frankel (FL)
Franks (AZ)
Frelinghuysen
Gallego
Garcia
Gerlach
Gibbs
Gingrey (GA)
Goodlatte
Granger
Graves (MO)
Green, Al
Grimm
Guthrie
Gutiérrez
Hanabusa
Hanna
Harper
Hartzler
Hastings (WA)
Heck (NV)
Heck (WA)
Hensarling
Higgins
Himes
Hinojosa
Holding
Hoyer
Hudson
Hunter
Hurt
Israel
Issa
Jackson Lee
Johnson (GA)
Johnson, E. B.
Johnson, Sam
Joyce
Kaptur
Kelly (IL)
Kelly (PA)
Kennedy
Kilmer
Kind
King (IA)
King (NY)
Kinzinger (IL)
Kirkpatrick
Kline
Kuster
Lance
Langevin
Lankford
Larsen (WA)
Latham
Latta
Levin
Lipinski
LoBiondo
Long
Lowey
Lucas
Luetkemeyer
Maloney, Sean
Marino
Matheson
McCarthy (CA)
McCaul
McIntyre
McKeon
McKinley
McNerney
Meehan
Meeks
Meng
Messer
Miller (FL)
Miller (MI)
Murphy (FL)
Murphy (PA)
Neugebauer
Noem
Nunes
Nunnelee
Olson
Palazzo
Paulsen
Payne
Pelosi
Peters (CA)
Peters (MI)
Peterson
Pittenger
Pitts
Pompeo
Price (NC)
Quigley
Reed
Reichert
Renacci
Rigell
Roby
Rogers (AL)
Rogers (KY)
Rogers (MI)
Rooney
Ros-Lehtinen
Roskam
Royce
Ruiz
Runyan
Ruppersberger
Ryan (OH)
Ryan (WI)
Schakowsky
Schneider
Schwartz
Scott, Austin
Scott, David
Sessions
Sewell (AL)
Shimkus
Shuster
Simpson
Sinema
Sires
Slaughter
Smith (NE)
Smith (TX)
Smith (WA)
Stivers
Stutzman
Terry
Thompson (CA)
Thornberry
Tiberi
Titus
Turner
Upton
Valadao
Van Hollen
Vargas
Veasey
Visclosky
Wagner
Walberg
Walden
Walorski
Wasserman Schultz
Webster (FL)
Wenstrup
Westmoreland
Whitfield
Wilson (FL)
Wittman
Wolf
Womack
Woodall
Young (FL)
Young (IN)

Not Voting (the Otherwise-Engaged)

Barletta
Beatty
Bustos
Campbell
Coble
Herrera Beutler
Horsford
McCarthy (NY)
Negrete McLeod
Pallone
Rokita
Schock

The leaders and staff of the Congressional Progressive Caucus whipped for the amendment. You’ll see CPC members through the Yes list (and a number of them in the No list as well, like Schakowsky and Kaptur). Becerra, Clyburn and Crowley broke with the rest of the Dem leaders to vote Yes. Pelosi, Hoyer, Israel, Larsen, Van Hollen and Wasserman Schultz are in the walk-of-shame list, of course.

There are also some hardcore wingers in the Yes list. I bolded Nugent’s name, since he was supposed to be the author of the phoney-baloney amendment that Pompeo ended up fronting for. Looks like Nugent didn’t like the phoney, or the baloney, after all. Sensenbrenner (a Yes) is one of the men credited with authoring the Patriot Act.

I’ll analyze this more thoroughly later and offer suggestions for whom to call, with phone numbers in the post. I’ll be especially interested to see how this list squares with this one, which we offered earlier.

If you want to get a head start, House phone numbers are here. Go for it; you don’t need permission to pick up the phone.

This is far from over. Most of DC is shocked; good.

GP

To follow or send links: @Gaius_Publius


Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States.

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