According to the amendment’s sponsor, Michigan Congressman Justin Amash, “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.”
However, seven of Virginia’s eight Republican congressman voted against the amendment, ensuring its defeat. The legislation failed 205-217.
Rep. Morgan Griffith (VA-9) was Virginia’s lone Republican to stand against the domestic spying:
“While the Amash-Conyers amendment that would rein in the NSA’s data gathering capabilities on U.S. citizens who aren’t suspects failed, I am proud to be a part of a bipartisan group of Congressmen and women who believe our first duty is to protect and uphold the freedoms recognized by the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights. While we fell a few votes short this evening, we will continue our efforts on behalf of freedom loving Americans.”
The amendment was part of the Defense Appropriations Bill and a decision on it was the last major policy hurdle before passing the spending plan.
“The world remains a dangerous place, and today the House has made a critical investment in America’s security,” said Majority Leader Eric Cantor. “This bill takes important steps to bolster national security. It also ensures that those who have fought to defend our country are supported both on and off the battlefield.”
The appropriations bill easily passed the House, with the entire Virginia delegation voting in favor of it.