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Posts tagged ‘Justin Amash’

DNC Sends Email Preparing To Defend Against Obama Impeachment.

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) sent out a paranoid email Saturday evening urging supporters to vote for Democrats so that Republicans can’t impeach President Obama.

The email, subject line “Impeachment,” was sent to Obama for America supporters, imploring them to contribute to the DNC’s 2014 efforts. “What do these people all have in common?,” the email asked, featuring quotes from Republican Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, Rep. Kerry Bentivolio of Michigan, and Rep. Blake Farenthold of Texas discussing the possibility of impeaching Obama for one of his numerous instances of presidential misconduct.

The DNC email discussed the “I-Word” and said that “Republicans are actually excited about the idea.”

“Show these Republicans that they are way, way off-base, and give President Obama a Congress that has his back,” according to the DNC email, noting that Democrats need to win 17 GOP House seats to reclaim a majority.

The DNC, which recently expanded its political tactics to include boycotting independent news outlets, previously supported the last president to be impeached: Bill Clinton.

Obama’s staff changed key talking points on the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack; his Internal Revenue Service targeted conservative groups during the 2012 election cycle; and Obama personally lied to the American people when he told them that they could keep their existing doctors and health insurance plans under Obamacare.

Obama’s expansion of executive branch authority is “setting the stage for something very dangerous in the future” according to Republican Rep. Justin Amashsource- Daily Caller.

by NTEB News Desk

Boehner Facing Push to Curb NSA Surveillance.

House Speaker John Boehner may be forced into allowing a vote on standalone legislation to curb the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs, even though he has defended the agency’s methods.

A growing number of lawmakers favor a bill to end the NSA’s telephone records collections on nearly all calls made in the United Statesreports The Hill.  But while Boehner says there are already many safeguards to protect privacy, he may have no choice but to allow a vote on legislation to curb the NSA, says one Democratic aide.

The insider told the Hill that if Boehner and other lawmakers block a vote on the standalone NSA reform legislation, House members who favor it will demand NSA-related amendments be added to vital legislation, such as defense bills.

“They’re stuck,” the aide said. “They would deal with this in the way they deal with a lot of things — by just not moving the legislation. Except how are they going to get other important pieces of legislation that they want to move unless they move this first?”

GOP leaders did allow a vote in July on an amendment from Republican Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan to end the NSA’s phone data program.

The amendment met with party leader opposition and White House lobbying, but failed to pass by only seven votes. Boehner, who usually doesn’t vote, cast a ballot against the Amash amendment, saying that there are already ample safeguards to protect privacy, and the NSA programs have “worked to protect the American people.”

Some of those who voted against the Amash amendment now back legislation to limit the NSA. For example, California Republican Rep. Rep. Darrell Issa, who chairs the House Oversight Committee voted against the Amash amendment but now co-sponsors the USA Freedom Act, which is the primary bill to limit the NSA’s power.

The bill was written by Wisconsin Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, who had helped create the Patriot Act that the NSA uses when seeking approval for data collection. The Sensenbrenner bill has at least 102 co-sponsors — 51 Republicans and 51 Democrats.

Sensenbrenner said the Patriot Act kept Americans safe but “the balance between security and privacy was lost.”

His bill seeks to end bulk collection of telephone data and tighten NSA oversight.

However, the NSA has strong defenders in the house, including Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Mich., who says the phone data program is a key tool in the fight against terrorism.

A battle over the NSA is also looming in the Senate, where Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., is pushing legislation to protect its power. Meanwhile, Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., is pushing for a Senate version of the USA Freedom Act.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Sandy Fitzgerald

Boehner, GOP Leadership Refurbish and Rebound.

Image: Boehner, GOP Leadership Refurbish and Rebound

Possibly the most dramatic development to emerge from the closed-door session of Republican House members on Saturday before the vote to delay funding of the Affordable Care Act was the stronger and more confident image of Speaker John Boehner and the GOP leadership.

Early Sunday morning, the House passed 231-192 a continuing resolution that delays implementation of Obamacare for a year. In addition, the Republican version of the CR includes an end to Obamacare’s tax on medical devices and continues to fund the government through December 15. It also contained continuing pay to the U.S. military in the event of a government shutdown.

But, after a week of stories in the media suggesting Boehner and his GOP leaders had lost control and that the Republican Conference was dominated by the “tea party,” lawmakers themselves had a different opinion.

Emerging from the meeting, and prior to the vote on the continuing resolution by the full House Saturday evening, GOP members told Newsmax that Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor and the rest of their leadership were very much in charge and that all 233 Republican members were “on the same page.”

“Leadership made a very good impression,” stalwart conservative Rep. Tom McClintock of California told Newsmax. “We are united behind the continuing resolution.”

Half-in-jest, McClintock cited as an example of the unity that “even Justin Amash was for this.”

Widely considered the closest thing to a pure libertarian among his Republican colleagues in the House, Amash of Michigan not only supported the new CR but spoke in favor of it the Saturday conclave.

Another congressman said that when Amash finished voicing his endorsement of the CR, Boehner – well aware of the Michiganian’s iconoclastic reputation – said: “Darn it! We must have done something wrong!”

“They started by serving us lunch, and I told someone ‘they’re feeding us, so something bad is coming down,'” Rep. Steve Stockman of Texas, another member identified with the tea party, told Newsmax. “But that wasn’t the case. We’re unified on this one. And this new CR is the work of the leadership, which listened to the individual members.”

While praising the new CR and the role leadership played in moving it, McClintock, Stockman and others said they fully expect Majority Leader Harry Reid and the Democratic-controlled Senate to give a “thumbs down” to their measure.

Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma is not as convinced as others in Congress that it is hopeless to count on Democratic senators to come over and support the delay championed by his Republican colleagues. As he put it, “[West Virginia Sen.] Joe Manchin has already said he supports the year-long delay.”

“If I were [Democratic Sens.] Mary Landrieu, Mark Pryor, Mark Begich, or Kay Hagan, all of whom will have difficult re-election races in 2014, I’d tell Harry Reid ‘Mr. Leader, putting this thing off for a year isn’t such a bad idea.'”

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Amash: Obama ‘Embellishing’ His Case Against Syria.

The Obama administration is embellishing its case to take action in Syria, Michigan Republican Rep. Justin Amash claimed Sunday, saying there is “overwhelming disapproval” among his constituents and most other Americans against the president’s call for military strikes.

“I think that there are some things being embellished in public statements,” Amash said on CBS’Face the Nation” Sunday. “The evidence is not as strong as the public statements that the president and his administration have been making.”

Story continues below.

And while White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said earlier in the program that “nobody” is disputing the evidence that Assad’s regime was responsible for chemical attacks that killed more than 1,400 civilians in Damascus, Amash said he takes issue with the public statements from the Obama administration.

“The briefings haven’t given me comfort,” Amash said. “[They] make me more skeptical about the situation.”

Further, the Michigan lawmaker said, his constituents overwhelmingly disapprove of taking action in Syria.

Amash said that after the president made his announcement to seek Congressional approval of strategic strikes against the Syrian government, his office sponsored a series of town hall meetings.

“Eleven meetings in two days, and what I saw was astonishing,” he said. “What I saw was not just disapproval of war, it was overwhelming…you really have to take that very seriously.”

Amash said that lawmakers need to keep their constituents’ wishes in mind, which will make a statement about democracy overseas as well.

Meanwhile, Maryland Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings said that while 77 percent of his district voted for President Barack Obama, that support doesn’t extend to military action in Syria, and the president has a long way to go to convince people.

“He has to come in front of Congress and the nation,” said Cummings, who remains undecided over whether he backs the president’s call for action. “When you ask Congress to be involved, you’re also asking our constituents.”

He noted that Obama “is being held to a higher standard, the reason being Iraq,” and war-weary constituents don’t want the country to become involved in a similar situation.

Meanwhile, Cummings said he plans to look at more limited plans for involvement that may come through the House before he decides how he’ll vote.

“If we go in and find ourselves mired in a civil war, what do we do?” he said.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Sandy Fitzgerald

Rep. Amash: Congress Purposely Kept in Dark on Surveillance Efforts.

It’s “total nonsense” to say Congress was told about the NSA collecting communications data on Americans, and as a matter of fact, efforts are made to keep members of Congress in the dark, says Rep. Justin Amash, a Republican from Michigan.

Members would have a stack of documents hundreds of pages long stacked on a table in front of them and told to read it, Amash said Wednesday on Fox News Channel’sO’Reilly Factor.” 

If congressional members don’t know the definitions of terms used by intelligence agencies such as the National Security Agency, they have no way of knowing what the documents mean, he said. One example: There is a difference between the words “collect” and “acquire.” 

Editor’s Note: 75% of Seniors Make This $152,000 Social Security Mistake 

Further, Amash said, committee members have to phrase their questions in just the right way during hearings or they won’t get the answers they seek.

Amash said members of the intelligence committees were aware of the full extent of surveillance, “but I think rank and file members, yes, there was an effort to keep information from us.”

Amash said that as recently as last week, a classified document was going to be made available, but it was announced just one day before through an “unusual channel.” His staff happened to notice it and he informed other members. 

Other members of Congress had missed the announcement. Their knowledge of the meeting came from Amash himself, he said.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Greg Richter

GOP’s Justin Amash: Snowden a Whistleblower, Not a Traitor.

Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., says he doesn’t believe National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden is a traitor.

Appearing on “Fox News Sunday,” Amash, said that as far as Congress is concerned, the former NSA contract employee is a whistleblower.

“He told us what we need to know,” Amash said. “Without his doing what he did, members of Congress would not really have known about it. … Members of Congress were not really aware on the whole about what these programs were being used for, the extent to which they were being used.”

Amash is a critic of the NSA surveillance program that compiles the electronic communications of American citizens. He sponsored and failed amendment to the House defense spending bill that would have stopped the collection of phone records.

He admitted that Snowden “may be doing things overseas that we would find problematic, that we would find dangerous.” His “whistleblower” label was aimed at the fact that Snowden had given Congress a heads up into the NSA’s activity.

Snowden initially fled to Hong Kong and was granted temporary asylum in Russia last week. Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” he wouldn’t be surprised if the Chinese or Russians were able to get top secret information off Snowden’s computer.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Greg Richter

Sen. Udall Suggests Obama Spy Tactics Unconstitutional.

Democratic Sen. Mark Udall said Sunday he won’t give up efforts to stop the Obama administration from continuing its spy program that collects information on phone records in the U.S. despite last week’s defeat in the House of a bill to block the activity.

The Coloradoan suggested the Obama administration is violating the Constitution by collecting the information, and told CBS’sFace the Nation” he will push his own bill to limit how the intelligence community can access the data.

“That’s the way in which to protect not just our people, but the Bill of Rights,” Udall said. “The Bill of Rights is the biggest, baddest weapon we have.”

Udall said the federal government has been sweeping up phone records from every number it can find whether it’s linked to terrorism or not.

“We’re vacuuming up innocent Americans‘ phone records,” Udall said. “Let’s restrict that to terrorists or spies.”

Instead, his bill would keep that information with the phone company and require a court subpoena for federal officials to access individual numbers.

“That’s how the police operate, that’s how the FBI operates,” Udall said.

Rep. Mike Rogers, a Michigan Republican and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, defended the government’s use of the program and said it has led to the successful intervention of 54 terrorist attacks.

“There is zero privacy violations on this, in this entire length of the program,” Rogers said. “No other program has this much scrutiny.”

The House on Wednesday narrowly defeated a measure by Republican Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan to limit the NSA’s collection of phone data on a vote of 217 to 205.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Audrey Hudson

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