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Rep. Amash says he’ll push for new vote to curb NSA powers

Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) is planning to push for another vote to block the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs of phone and Internet communications.

“I’m hopeful that we’ll have another opportunity,” said Amash on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “It might not be exactly the same amendment."

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A measure from Amash that would have prevented the NSA from collecting phone records of American citizens not under investigation for any crimes was narrowly defeated last month in the House.

Amash, though, vowed Sunday to continue efforts to curb the NSA’s powers.

“I’m hopeful that we’ll have a way to amend some kind of policy legislation in the future,” he said.

The vote on Amash’s amendment came before the most recent leak by Edward Snowden, which detailed an NSA audit that found thousands of instances in which the privacy of Americans had been violated in the agency’s effort to gather intelligence.

Amash said that he’s confident many of his House colleagues would change their vote in light of the new revelations and that his measure would stand a better chance at passage.

He said the American public and lawmakers are becoming increasingly aware of how flawed the NSA’s programs are, emphasizing that Congress needs to take steps to increase its oversight of intelligence gathering operations.

“The system’s not working,” said Amash. “Americans were told by the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee that there were zero privacy violations and we know that’s not true.”