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. Click here for more. Follow him on Twitter @Gaius_Publius and Facebook.

Share This Post

  • Average Redneck Girl

    I am learning that I just can’t trust ANY elected official. Not one of these boneheads called me on a Town Hall meeting like they usually do and asked for an opinion.

    Every last one of them are spineless. I am not voting until they earn my trust.

  • Tim

    Including Pelosi and her deputies.
    The House, both parties in it, voted to aid Obama and let him keep his power.

    Don’t think Harry Reid’s Senate would be any better.

  • Kim_Kaufman

    Here we go, from CLG News:
    http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2013/07/money-nsa-vote/

    Lawmakers Who Upheld
    NSA Phone Spying Received Double the Defense Industry Cash 26 Jul 2013
    The numbers tell the story –in votes and dollars. On Wednesday, the house voted 217 to 205 not to rein in the NSA’s phone-spying dragnet. It turns out that those 217 “no” voters received twice as much campaign financing from the defense and intelligence industry as the 205 “yes” voters. That’s the upshot of a new analysis by MapLight, a Berkeley-based non-profit that performed the inquiry at WIRED’s request. The investigation shows that defense cash was a better predictor of a member’s vote on the Amash amendment than party affiliation. House members who voted to continue the massive phone-call-metadata spy program, on average, raked in 122 percent more m*ney from defense contractors than those who voted Wednesday to dismantle it.

  • Indigo

    A casual reading of my comment will not produce evidence that I blamed either party.

  • Kim_Kaufman

    It would be also instructive to compare the votes, especially the “no’s” with campaign contributions from the military industrial security complex. I agree with a comment below that if Pelosi had needed more Dem votes she would have gotten them. Waxman and Schiff might ordinarily have voted no but Waxman is facing probably a tough race and knows his district is watching him and Schiff is trying to feel out his new more progressive district. It’s all a game of whackamole with them. They are not going to go against “their president” too far. None of them have that much integrity.

  • Tim

    Are you kidding me?

    If you’re that hopelessly partisan, then tell me why Bachmann voted no?

  • Tim

    The surveillance state is bipartisan. You can’t blame just one party for it.

  • Tim

    It’s not the GOP’s fault. It’s not the Democrats’ fault. It’s both their fault, equally, okay? They all chose to block it, no excuse-making for either party no matter how others voted. Boehner. and. Pelosi. are. equally. to. blame.
    It’s not partisan. There’s simply a lot of political elites in both parties that don’t think people deserve civil liberties. I don’t care about the letter after their name.

  • cambridgemac

    Too bad the Dems are as bad as the Repukes when it comes to learning from history. Of course, when your history is shameful, you might not want to examine it.

  • http://poodyheads.wordpress.com/ Papa Bear

    And any that haven’t been co-opted have Hoovered! (Threatened by the NSA with hints of what might get “leaked” from their file…)
    :-P

  • Ford Prefect

    Also, it’s Democratic SOP to whip controversial votes closely, so most Dems have an “out” in explaining themselves to their constituents. Apparently, someone at the WH said they were fine with the close vote, “so the losers could vent some steam.”

    So I think the standard rule of skepticism about rank and file Dems’ motivations remains valid in this case. What if more GOPers decided to vote AYE? Pelosi would have needed more Dems and she would have gotten them, just as she always has.

    Lastly, a big Thank You to Edward Snowden for making all this possible.

  • GaiusPublius

    Yep. Pelosi. I saw that and queue’d a piece on her for Monday.

    GP

  • Bill_Perdue

    Democrats have always been one of two parties active in the creation of a police state.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Most of them have been coopted by the security state, because they’re partly in charge of it. And as I noted above, they believe themselves to be exempt from being spied upon.

    I’m sure this is some of what the NSA is telling them behind the closed doors.

  • Drew2u

    I can handle that if the results would have been favorable to the public, but what the hell is up with the Dems in that matter?

  • Bill_Perdue

    Republicans voted to end NSA surveillance largely as a spite vote against Obama, not because they have any principles.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Wrong. Dead Wrong. Democrats are the enemies of the Bill of Rights and so are Republicans.

    Heavy handed state surveillance began under Wilson (1) and very Democrat and Republican administration since then has increased it. Obama’s attacks on civil liberties since Truman instituted the loyalty oaths in 1947 that deformed American Society until the antiwar movement destroyed their effect.

    “The Palmer Raids were attempts by the United States Department of Justice to arrest and deport radical leftists, especially anarchists, from the United States. The raids and arrests occurred in November 1919 and January 1920 under the leadership of Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer. … The Palmer Raids occurred in the larger context of the Red Scare, the term given to fear of and reaction against political radicals in the U.S. in the years immediately following World War I. … In 1916, President Wilson warned against hyphenated Americans who, he charged, had “poured the poison of disloyalty into the very arteries of our national life.” “Such creatures of passion, disloyalty and anarchy”, Wilson continued “must be crushed out”. “ wiki

  • Ford Prefect

    It’s starting to look like the ruling elites are panicking, which is a pleasant, if novel thing to see.

    But once again, it looks like this issue really boils down to leadership, with Pelosi and Hoyer doing everything possible to protect Big Brother from any constraint at all:

    But ahead of the razor-thin 205-217 vote, which would have severely limited the NSA’s ability to collect data on Americans’ telephone records if passed, Pelosi privately and aggressively lobbied wayward Democrats to torpedo the amendment, a Democratic committee aid with knowledge of the deliberations tells The Cable.

    “Pelosi had meetings and made a plea to vote against the amendment and that had a much bigger effect on swing Democratic votes against the amendment than anything Alexander had to say,” said the source, keeping in mind concerted White House efforts to influence Congress by Alexander and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. “Had Pelosi not been as forceful as she had been, it’s unlikely there would’ve been more Democrats for the amendment.”

    “Pelosi had a big effect on more middle-of-the road hawkish Democrats who didn’t want to be identified with a bunch of lefties [voting for the amendment],” said the aide. “As for the Alexander briefings: Did they hurt? No, but that was not the central force, at least among House Democrats. Nancy Pelosi’s political power far outshines that of Keith Alexander’s.”

    http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/07/25/how_nancy_pelosi_saved_the_nsa_surveillance_program

    Perhaps the booing she’s recently experienced needs to be much louder?

  • Indigo

    I was glad the matter came up before congress and hopeful that it will come up again. That it was voted down is not actually surprising because we already know that we’re working with a corrupt congress, particularly the House but the Senate is not exempt from that generalization. In fact, I don’t anticipate reversing the Global Imperialism of our Pentagon Government nor any change in economic policy from our Wall Street White House, regardless of whom the Electoral College or Supreme Court appoint to be the next ‘Resident. I’m beginning to accept the inevitable Turning of the Wheel and live calmly with Empire. Not that it’s a good thing but that it’s the Inevitable Thing. Cynical? Not really. Resigned to our Totalitarian Tomorrow? Yes, to an extent. However, as long as we can name it, we are not yet silenced.

  • Indigo

    In fact I did not realize that. I can’t say I’m surprised though.

  • Drew2u

    What’s F’ed up to me is, perusing that list I see an R in my state that voted FOR the amendment while my D representative, whom I assumed was going to vote for it, voted AGAINST it. WTF!?

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    You do realize one of the reasons the member of Congress feel comfortable with voting down any controls on NSA spying is because they themselves are exempt?

    http://www.emptywheel.net/2013/06/17/edward-snowden-congress-has-immunity-from-spying-but-you-dont/

  • Max_1

    Thank gawd it failed… ?
    What Rights are you willing to give up?

  • Max_1

    .
    217 “REPRESENTATIVES” voted to usurp the Rights of the People they “REPRESENT”

    .

  • mejumaxuturi

    мy coυѕιɴ ιѕ мαĸιɴɢ $51/нoυr oɴlιɴe. υɴeмployed ғor α coυple oғ yeαrѕ αɴd prevιoυѕ yeαr ѕнe ɢoт α $1З619cнecĸ wιтн oɴlιɴe joв ғor α coυple oғ dαyѕ. ѕee мore αт…­ ­ViewMore——————————————&#46qr&#46net/kkEj

    At least both Democrats and
    Republicans can agree on something. Now maybe if we can get at least
    half of the Republicans to agree that Reaganomics is bad for our
    economic security, and half the Democrats to agree that Clintonomics is
    bad for our economic security, we may have a functioning government that
    actually represents the interests of all its people.

  • Drew2u

    Question, if the NSA is collecting all this data from everyone (of course it is), then doesn’t that make the U.S. government the largest collector of child pornography?

  • tbhull

    The repubs brought us the surveillance state, house repubs re-upped it yesterday, repubs initially brought us our recent wars, and it was the repubs that brought us the bailout in 2008. With that said the repubs are the problem absolutely and not the solution.

  • condew

    Thank god it failed. Shameless pandering to the paranoids. If there is anything worse than a do-nothing congress, its a do-something-stupid-congress.

  • dula

    At least both Democrats and Republicans can agree on something. Now maybe if we can get at least half of the Republicans to agree that Reaganomics is bad for our economic security, and half the Democrats to agree that Clintonomics is bad for our economic security, we may have a functioning government that actually represents the interests of all its people.

  • PhillyGuard

    Unfortunately, when weighing liberty and security, the human brain is prone to making a wild miscalculation on terror. Here’s why—> “This is Your Brain on Terrorism” http://bit.ly/162DtWE

  • cole3244

    throw out the constitution the pols have united in letting big brother spy on americas 99%.

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