Justin Amash

Justin Amash Threatens Procedural Destruction of Defense Funding Bill Over NSA Surveillance

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Funky fresh procedural action threatened by Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, steamed that his amendments to the defense authorization bill to stab at NSA surveillance on Americans is being held up, as reported in National Review:

if the Rules Committee doesn't allow a vote on the amendment, Amash and a coalition of Republicans and Democrats probably have the votes to bring the whole bill down. To do so, they could vote against the "rule," which governs debate for the bill. Those are typically party-line votes, so only a few Republicans would need to join the Democrats to defeat it.

Joining with Amash are conservative Republican representatives Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina and Thomas Massie of Kentucky as well as liberal Democratic representatives Jared Polis of Colorado and John Conyers of Michigan. Conyers is the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee.

Amash says the amendment could get widespread support in a roll call vote. "The coalition is much broader than just libertarian-leaning conservatives and liberals. If you talk to members from across the political spectrum you'll find widespread disapproval of what the NSA is doing," he says, adding "our effort is not aimed at overseas spying operations that are legitimate and constitutional." It's the "collection of all Americans' phone records here in the United States" that he opposes.

My March Reason feature interview package on liberty-minded congressfolk, leading off with Amash.