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House rejects effort to rein in NSA surveillance

Posted by: Corey Mitchell under Minnesota congressional, Democrats, Republicans, President Obama Updated: July 25, 2013 - 5:13 AM

Conservatives in Minnesota's U.S. House delegation helped defeat proposal to restrict how the National Security Agency collects telephone records.

Aimed at reining in the National Security Agency's phone data collection program, the amendment would have prevented the NSA from using the Patriot Act to collect the phone records of people who are not under investigation.

Lawmakers voted 217 to 205 to reject the proposal. Under current law, the agency gathers the phone records of people in the United States, including the numbers people dial.

Republican U.S. Reps. Michele Bachmann, John Kline and Erik Paulsen along with conservative Democrat Collin Peterson voted against the amendment. Democrats Keith Ellison, Betty McCollum, Rick Nolan and Tim Walz supported the plan.

The Obama administration lobbied against the proposal, arguing that it would dismantle an surveillance tool that's helped save lives and thwart terrorist attacks.

Since former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed the extent of the agency's data collection, the White House and some conservative Republicans, including Bachmann, have banded together to defend the program.

Shortly after Snowden went public, Bachmann labeled him a 'traitor.'



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