Amash is Ready To Push for New Vote Curbing the NSA's Powers


Credit: Gage Skidmore / Foter / CC BY-SA

Last month an amendment to a Department of Defense appropriations bill introduced by Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) that would have limited the data collection conducted by the NSA narrowly failed. Now, it seems that Amash is ready to try again to amend future legislation in order to limit the NSA's powers.

From The Hill:

Amash, though, vowed Sunday to continue efforts to curb the NSA's powers.

"I'm hopeful that we'll have a way to amend some kind of policy legislation in the future," he said.

The vote on Amash's amendment came before the most recent leak by Edward Snowden, which detailed an NSA audit that found thousands of instances in which the privacy of Americans had been violated in the agency's effort to gather intelligence.

Amash said that he's confident many of his House colleagues would change their vote in light of the new revelations and that his measure would stand a better chance at passage.

Appearing on CNN's "State of the Union" (video at top of article from The Hill) Amash said that he has been told indirectly through the media and in person that some of his colleagues feel differently about the amendment that failed to pass last month.

Since the vote on the Amash amendment last month it has been revealed that the NSA targets journalists who are critical of the American government, has access to a backdoor that allows for American citizens' emails and phone calls to be searched without a warrant, and has broken its own rules thousands of times.

Glenn Greenwald has vowed to release more information on the NSA's activities in response to his partner, David Miranda, being held for almost nine hours at Heathrow airport in the U.K. Although Greenwald says that the U.K. will be "sorry" for detaining Miranda it is almost certain that whatever information Greenwald reveals will include worrying information on the NSA's activities as well as information on British intelligence services.

It is unclear when Amash will introduce legislation that could limit the NSA's ability to collect data. However, given the revelations that have emerged since Amash's amendment failed last month there is a good chance that his next attempt to curb the NSA's snooping could receive more support than his first try.