Yesterday’s House Vote, and What Comes Next


Yesterday the U.S. House of Representatives voted on the Amash Amendment, which would have halted the NSA’s vast and unconstitutional program of phone record collection.

The amendment failed. And, of course, even if it had passed – and gotten Senate support too – the President would have vetoed it.


The vote was much closer than expected: 205-217. If just seven more Congressmen had supported this bill, it would have passed. That’s remarkable.

Also remarkable is the incredibly bipartisan nature of the vote. 111 Democrats and 94 Republicans voted yes. One surprising “yes” vote was Representative F. James Sensenbrenner Jr., who co-authored the original PATRIOT Act. He says the law was never intended to give the NSA so much power.

Most remarkable of all was the deluge of public support, your support, for the bill. According to this New York Times article:

…a web of privacy activists, libertarian conservatives and liberal civil liberties proponents rallied support behind Congressional action. House members said they received hundreds of phone calls and e-mails before Wednesday’s vote, all in favor of curtailing the N.S.A.’s authority.

We did better than expected. We got their attention. We showed them that we care.

But it’s not over.

Look and see how your local representative voted. If they voted yes, thank them, and keep the pressure on. If they voted no, express your disapproval.

Don’t worry if you’ve never called Congress before. Until recently, I hadn’t either. I’ve got you covered: 7 simple rules for calling your Congressman.

You can also point your friends to, which lays out your action items pretty clearly.

We can do this. But we need your help. Pick up the phone!


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