GOP rep attempted late bid to kill spy bill

One of the biggest thorns in the side of the country’s intelligence agencies attempted to mount an eleventh hour bid to kill the spy agencies' funding bill on Wednesday.

Rep. Justin AmashJustin AmashLawmakers press Lynch for briefing on Yahoo secret email scanning reports House Freedom Caucus member slows floor business House votes to block Gitmo transfers MORE (R-Mich.) wrote on Facebook that the intelligence authorization bill that easily passed through the House contained “one of the most egregious sections of law I've encountered during my time as a representative.”

“It grants the executive branch virtually unlimited access to the communications of every American,” explained Amash, who has a record of skepticism toward the National Security Agency and other agencies. Last year, he nearly succeeded in an attempt to end the NSA’s controversial phone records program.

The bill was originally set to be considered with just a simple voice vote, but Amash rushed to the House floor on Wednesday to demand a recorded vote. He also fired off a letter to his fellow lawmakers warning them not to back the bill.

Hidden in the law is “a troubling new provision that for the first time statutorily authorizes spying on U.S. citizens without legal process,” Amash told other lawmakers.

That provision allows “the acquisition, retention, and dissemination” of Americans’ communications without a court order or subpoena.

That type of collection is currently allowed under an executive order that dates back to former President Reagan, but the new stamp of approval from Congress was troubling, Amash said. Limits on the government’s ability to retain information in the provision did not satisfy the Michigan Republican.

Despite Amash’s late attempt, the bill easily passed, 325-100.

The bill passed the Senate earlier this week and is now on its way to President Obama.