– After furious lobbying by the
administration and Republican leaders, the
on Wednesday narrowly defeated an amendment that would have curtailed the
’s bulk collection of U.S. phone calling records revealed recently by
But the breadth of support in both parties for the amendment -- which lost, 217 to 205 -- underscored the extent of public disquiet with the notion that the NSA is collecting information on nearly every phone call made by nearly every American. Backers of the measure were the ultimate in strange bedfellows, an oil-and-water mixture of deeply conservative
A majority of Democrats bucked President Obama and voted in favor of the amendment. A change of just six votes would have passed the measure.
During the debate before the vote, few lawmakers stood to defend NSA's surveillance programs, as speaker after speaker trounced them.
“The government has gone too far in the name of national security,” said
Proposed by Reps.
Officials say they need all the records to be able to identify U.S. residents unknown to the intelligence community who may be working with foreign terrorists.