In a vote that went down to the wire, an amendment that would have effectively defunded the National Security Agency’s ability to spy on all Americans’ phone records with a warrant failed to pass in Congress.
The final tally for the amendment, which was brought to the House by Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), was 205-217, failing by only 12 votes. Although it failed, proponents of the bill say that the closeness of the vote sends a strong message to the Obama administration, which came out strongly against the bill, urging lawmakers not to pass it.
The amendment would have cut funding to Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which contains language that makes it legal for the NSA to collect and store an unlimited amount of Americans’ phone records without a warrant.
Bachmann argued that the NSA surveillance program that collects records of all Americans does not violate the Fourth Amendment.
“There is more information about you in the phone books on your kitchen table than there is in the National Security database,” Bachmann said.