Thursday, July 25, 2013

Ron Paul Protege Leads Revolution Over Surveillance in Congress

The National Journal reports:
Michigan Rep. Justin Amash, a 33-year-old Ron Paul disciple, has long been viewed by his peers as little more than a legislative renegade. Obsessed with branding himself as Paul's libertarian heir apparent in the House, Amash rarely votes for GOP legislation. His unwillingness to support party initiatives led Speaker John Boehner to boot Amash from a key committee in December 2012, which led the congressman to organize an unsuccessful coup in January 2013 aimed at ousting Boehner from the speakership. For the House Republican leadership, Amash is a reliably unreliable vote. But in a sign of the rising libertarian tide in the Congress, Amash on Wednesday captured Washington's attention with an amendment aimed at blocking the National Security Agency (NSA) from collecting a dragnet of domestic phone records. The second-term congressman, known more for obstructing than orchestrating, raised eyebrows across the Capitol by taking on perhaps the most powerful coalition imaginable in Washington -- the White House, the military, the intelligence community and leadership of both parties -- and almost winning. Amash, leading his unlikely coalition of privacy-minded conservatives and liberal defense critics, saw his amendment fail by a 12-vote margin.