NSA

By Ken Dilanian and Michael A. Memoli
July 24, 2013, 4:32 p.m.

WASHINGTON – After furious lobbying by the Obama administration and Republican leaders, the House of Representatives on Wednesday narrowly defeated an amendment that would have curtailed the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of U.S. phone calling records revealed recently by Edward Snowden.

But the breadth of support in both parties for the amendment — which lost, 217 to 205 — underscored the extent of public disquiet with the notion that the NSA is collecting information on nearly every phone call made by nearly every American. Backers of the measure were the ultimate in strange bedfellows, an oil-and-water mixture of deeply conservative tea party Republicans and some of the chamber’s most liberal Democrats.

A majority of Democrats bucked President Obama and voted in favor of the amendment. A change of just six votes would have passed the measure.

During the debate before the vote, few lawmakers stood to defend NSA’s surveillance programs, as speaker after speaker trounced them.

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