GOP leaders pushed to allow House vote on defunding the NSA

Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) is mounting a push this week to defund the surveillance programs at the National Security Agency.

Amash said Monday that the defense appropriations bill, which could come to the House floor this week, was a chance to stop the NSA’s “unconstitutional spying on Americans.”

“Most important bill this week: DoD Approps. We can defund #NSA's unconstitutional spying on Americans--if House leaders allow amendments, Amash tweeted Monday.

House Republican leaders are considering limiting amendments to the defense bill out of concern for proposals that Amash and other lawmakers might bring forward.

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Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-Texas) wrote to his colleagues last week that the panel might limit amendments, a departure from the open amendment process that’s been used on the defense bill since Republicans took over in 2011.

“While this is not the traditional process for this bill, there are a number of sensitive and ongoing issues related to national security that are more appropriately handled through an orderly amendment process ensuring timely consideration of this important measure,” Sessions wrote.

In addition to amendments on the NSA, there are concerns about amendments tying President Obama’s hands in Syria and Egypt, according to defense sources.

Amash, a libertarian-leaning Republican considering a Senate run in Michigan, has been among the most vocal critics of the NSA’s programs in the House. He called on Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to resign last month for lying to Congress about NSA collecting Americans’ records.

Amash spokesman Will Adams told the Grand Rapids Press that his office was still tailoring the language of the amendment to try to boost its chances of getting on the House floor.

"At the end of the day, it's going to be a political decision by our leadership if they want to give it a floor vote," Adams said.