USA Today reports: Republicans in the House of Representatives are seizing the chance to stop the National Security Agency from spying on Americans by using the power of the purse – the $598 billion defense spending bill.
The House of Representatives is expected to begin debate on the bill Tuesday and hold a series of votes on 100 amendments, including two that could put key Obama Administration programs at the mercy of House lawmakers.
One amendment sponsored by Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., would defund the NSA’s bulk phone metadata collection program.
“In order for funds to be used by the NSA, the court order would have to have a statement limiting the collection of records to [the] records that pertain to a person under investigation,” Amash explained during a House Rules Committee meeting Monday.
The Huffington Post reports: The National Security Agency kicked its lobbying into high gear after an amendment from Rep. Justin Amash, a libertarian Republican from Michigan, was ruled in order and will get a vote sometime this week.
NSA head Gen. Keith Alexander scheduled a last-minute, members-only briefing in response to the amendment, according to an invitation distributed to members of Congress this morning and forwarded to HuffPost. “In advance of anticipated action on amendments to the DoD Appropriations bill, Ranking Member C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger of the House Intelligence Committee invites your Member to attend a question and answer session with General Keith B. Alexander of the National Security Agency,” reads the invitation.
The invitation warned members that they could not share what they learned with their constituents or others. “The briefing will be held at the Top Secret/SCI level and will be strictly Members-Only,” reads the invite.