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Representatives Justin Amash (Republican) and John Conyers Jr. (Democrat), both from Michigan, are an odd pairing. But, seemingly a powerful one. Together, they came up with an amendment, The Amash Amendment, to reign in the NSA's surveillance program's power soon after the media storm hit of Edward Snowden and all that he brought to light about the secrecy of metadata collection on every single American. The amendment (or defense appropriations bill rather) would have halted the metadata program currently authorized under Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act, making it only legal to spy on citizens that are under specific federal investigation.
Well, the amendment failed to pass. But, the margin was surprisingly close, with a defeat of 217-205. Having just 7 people to switch their vote to YEA instead of NAY would have seen this bill pass. This Amash Amendment of bipartisan support and creation, in a time when congress and government seem to be in one of the worst gridlocks of partisan bickering in recent recorded history, managed to almost pass. And, that's not the end of it. This has started a bipartisan movement of a strong handful of lawmakers that are promising to come back in August with laws that WILL RESTRICT the NSA in the same ways that the Amash Amendment would have. And, the feeling on capitol hill, at least from what I have read, is that it seems inevitable to happen.
What an odd pairing. Who would have thought, a Republican and a Democrat seeing something wrong in the world and deciding to work together to make it better for everyone. Yes, you could argue that Amash is a young Representative with wide eyes and less hate in his heart than most other congressman. And, that Conyers Jr. has been around forever and is on his way out, unafraid of making a stand. Well, go ahead and make that argument. Or, any other. Doesn't really matter. All that matters is that Michigan is making stuff happen, and for once, it doesn't matter what color or letter shows up next to their state Rep's names. I like that.