Rep Rodney Alexander's vote
Posted in the Alexandria Forum
#1 Jul 27, 2013
On July 24, 2013 our Representatives had the opportunity to vote FOR Rep. Amash's bill to stop the National Security Agency's unconstitutionally collection of data on innocent American citizens. I wrote Rep. Rodney Alexander to vote for the protection of our liberties. He voted NO! He then sent correspondence to me. Here is his letter and my response. It is so long I have divided it into 2 parts.
Rep. Rodney Alexander responded to my request he vote for the Amash amendment after he had voted "NO" and my response to his comments.
Thank you for contacting me with your thoughts on Rep. Justin Amashs amendment to the fiscal year 2014 defense appropriations bill that would severely limit the authority of the National Security Agency (NSA) to conduct surveillance on telephone records. I appreciate hearing your concerns on this issue.
Yes,, I realize the Amish amendment would severely limit the unconstitutional "authority" of the NSA to conduct surveillance on telephone records. That was the whole purpose of the amendment.
Initial reports indicated that the NSA has been collecting millions of phone records from Verizon Wireless customers. This action is allowed under a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) warrant that was filed in April of this year. According to the FISC order, Verizon Wireless was required, on an ongoing, daily basis, to give the NSA information on all phone calls that occurred within its system. Subsequently, it was revealed that through a program known as PRISM, the NSA has also been collecting information from other technology companies, such as Yahoo!, Google, and Microsoft. The goal of all of this is to identify communications between potential terrorist groups both at home and abroad
The action that you admit has been going on infringes on our 4th amendment rights. The 4th amendment guards against unreasonable search and seizure and requires probable cause for such actions. Yet, you know by the above reports that millions of private citizen rights have been violated. Our representatives , elected by the people , have sworn to uphold the constitution of the United States, haven't they? The Amash amendment was to limit the infringement on our rights to our constitutionally protected freedom to privacy.
While I believe law enforcement and the intelligence community should have all the resources necessary to keep Americans safe, I also believe they should be held within the bounds of the Constitution.
Surely, you can see the NSA is way out of bounds of the Constitution, can't you?? That's why Amash introduced his legislation!
The extent of the data seized by NSA is troubling, and I support a full top-to-bottom investigation of these actions to ensure that the agency acted within the law and within the Constitution.
Your comments on the "troubling action" of NSA are past tense. What good will an expensive, non-productive, delaying tactic of a " full top-to-bottom investigation" do? While that so-called investigation is being done, more data will be illegally collected fron the citizens in your district and you did nothing to stop the on-going "troubling" seizure of data that the Amash bill would have stopped.
However, I voted against Rep. Amashs amendment because I felt that it was a hasty move that would go too far in removing important tools from the hands of people on the front lines of the war on terror.
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