Florida delegation divided on failed effort to limit NSA data collection
The U.S. House on Wednesday narrowly defeated a measure to curtail data collection by the National Security Agency, and Florida's delegation showed the odd alliances.
From the Associated Press: The showdown vote marked the first chance for lawmakers to take a stand on the secret surveillance program since former NSA systems analyst Edward Snowden leaked classified documents last month that spelled out the monumental scope of the government's activities.
Backing the NSA program were 134 Republicans and 83 Democrats, including House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, who typically does not vote, and Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi. Rejecting the administration's last-minute pleas to spare the surveillance operation were 94 Republicans and 111 Democrats.
It is unlikely to be the final word on government intrusion to defend the nation and Americans' civil liberties.
By voice vote, the House backed an amendment that would require the president to seek congressional approval before sending U.S. military forces into the 2-year-old civil war in Syria. Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla., sponsor of the measure, said Obama has a "cloudy foreign policy" and noted the nation's war weariness after more than 10 years of conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The administration is moving ahead with sending weapons to vetted rebels, but Obama and members of Congress have rejected the notion of U.S. ground forces.