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US House Votes Down Attempt to Halt NSA Surveillance Program

from Voice of America:

The U.S. House of Representatives has narrowly defeated an amendment that would have ended a National Security Agency surveillance program that collects hundreds of millions of Americans’ phone records.

The vote turned into a clash between President Barack Obama and Democratic and Republican national security leaders in Congress on one side, who say the program is vital to fighting terrorism, and a coalition of libertarian Republican and liberal Democratic lawmakers on the other side, who say it violates basic civil liberties.

Republican Representative Justin Amash of Michigan was the chief sponsor of the amendment that would have limited the NSA’s ability to collect phone records and other metadata under the Patriot Act to cases where the agency has first identified an individual who is the target of an investigation.

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