Kudos to Rep. Cicilline for his vote in support of Justin Amash’s (R-MI) amendment to curtail the NSA’s regime of domestic surveillance. Meanwhile, Rep. Langevin took a disappointing vote, as activists came up just short of overwhelming the efforts of the NSA, White House, and others to continue collecting Americans phone records and other data.
We lost on a 205-217 vote — while losing Rep. Langevin and several other Democrats, including a handful who’d purport to be progressive.
Demand Progress substantially coordinated these efforts, connecting activists with relevant Hill staff and driving in tens of thousands of constituent calls and emails to Congress over the last few days.
Lots to say about what went down, but it’s worth highlighting the disgusting rhetoric of Dem leadership — accusing all Americans of being potential terrorists in their memo whipping Dems to vote against the amendment. (My emphasis):
Amash/Conyers/Mulvaney/Polis/Massie Amendment – Bars the NSA and other agencies from using Section 215 of the Patriot Act (as codified by Section 501 of FISA) to collect records, including telephone call records, that pertain to persons who may be in communication with terrorist groups but are not already subject to an investigation under Section 215
Meanwhile, the White House issued a (non-ironic) statement decrying the lack of open deliberation about the Amash amendment — which would’ve reined in a system of laws that were built via case law developed in a system of secret courts.
Today’s showing was extraordinary — and while we came up short, we’ve made our point loud and clear, and we’re going to win this fight in not too long.