Intel bill's passage was a low point, says GOP's Amash

Passage of an intelligence bill at the end of the 113th Congress was a low point that enhanced the executive branch's ability to collect and retain data, Rep. Justin AmashJustin AmashHouse Freedom Caucus member slows floor business House votes to block Gitmo transfers Republican exodus from Trump grows MORE (R-Mich.) said Monday.

Amash, who has repeatedly denounced the Intelligence Authorization Act, said its passage was a huge disappointment because it gives unprecedented authority to the spy community. 

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"When you look at the bills that were passed, they were some of the worst pieces of legislation that I've seen in my four years of Congress," he said in an interview with Mlive.com published Monday. 

"We had an Intelligence Authorization Act where they, the intelligence committee or community, whoever wrote it, snuck in language that would authorize the executive branch to collect data, retain it, disseminate it, basically regardless of what type of data is it." 

Amash touted his effort to force a roll call vote on the authorization, which was opposed by 100 House members but passed nonetheless.  

He also mentioned the passage of the omnibus spending bill and the defense authorization bill as low points.  

While Amash came out hard against the intelligence provision, the intelligence community and civil liberty advocates disagree that it grants the executive branch unprecedented authority. 

The provision is meant to restrict the government from keeping communications collected without a court order for more than five years, if that collection could have swept up information from an American.

But Amash claims the provision tacitly gives Congress's approval to a type of collection, which has so far only been authorized by executive order.