View Full Version : Response from Congressman Billy Long on why he voted no on the Amash amendment

08-12-2013, 11:14 AM
August 12, 2013 Dear Mr. Roxi,

Thank you for contacting me with your concerns regarding the Amash Amendment to H.R. 2397, a measure making Fiscal Year 2014 appropriations for the Department of Defense.

As you know, H.R. 2397 funds the activities of the United States armed forces, including advanced weapons research and development and the salaries of military personnel. Shortly before the House of Representatives considered H.R. 2397 it was reported that the federal government engaged in widespread data collection as a part of counterterrorism efforts. As a result, two competing amendments were offered to H.R. 2397 in an effort to provide further safeguards on American's civil liberties; these amendments tried to accomplish the same general goal using two different mechanisms.

The Amash amendment prohibited funding for any court order which did not contain exact language limiting the collection of evidence, such as electronic data, to a person who is directly under a specific type of investigation. This language extended to non-U.S. citizens, who are the most likely to plan and execute a terrorist act. The Nugent/Pompeo amendment prohibited the collection, monitoring or storing of any electronic communication of U. S. citizens, such as phone records or e-mails. Since the Nugent/Pompeo amendment protects the privacy of U.S. citizens, I supported it. Specifically, the Nugent/Pompeo Amendment was specifically designed to protect American citizens and not harm our ability to monitor foreign terrorists. I did not support the Amash amendment because I believe it would harm our ability to monitor and investigate foreign terrorists.

I strongly believe in protecting our Constitutional rights from government encroachment. I also believe it is important to protect the security of our nation against a known terrorist threat that continues to wage war against us. As a result, I am concerned that the Amash amendment's approach to this problem is too vague and could hamper the ability of our national security forces to monitor non-citizen terrorist threats; I voted against the Amash amendment and it failed to pass. Instead, I voted for the Nugent/Pompeo amendment approach for protecting Americans from government intrusion. The Nugent/Pompeo amendment successfully passed and was incorporated into the bill. H.R. 2397 was referred to the United States Senate for further legislative action.

Again, thank you for contacting me on this important issue. Hearing the views of all Missourians gives me the opportunity to better understand how important issues could impact the people of the Seventh District and the future interests of the nation.

For additional information regarding current legislation, my representation of the Seventh District, and to sign up to receive my monthly newsletter, I invite you to visit my website at http://long.house.gov (http://long.house.gov/).


Billy Long
Member of Congress

It's cute how his autobots assume I'm a Mr. :)

08-12-2013, 11:16 AM
I hate our overlords.

08-12-2013, 12:37 PM
"All men are created equal..."

08-12-2013, 01:19 PM
Does anyone have the skinny on the "Nugent/Pompeo" Amendment? "Prohibits the collection, monitoring or storing of any electronic communication of U. S. citizens, such as phone records or e-mails." Sounds super spiffy. Sounds like it would eliminate what the NSA is doing. What's the catch?

So a ton of folks who voted yes on the Amash Amendment appear to have also subsequently voted yes on the Pompeo Amendment. Including Walter Jones.



08-12-2013, 01:37 PM
I haven't read the bill, so I can't vouch for this, but Amash stated very clearly that his legislation did NOT stop them from monitoring foreigners.