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Joe Heck and the Amash Amendment

Here’s what Republican Rep. Joe Heck had to say today about why he voted against the Amash Amendment to the Defense Appropriations Act:

“As a member of House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, I have firsthand knowledge of critical national security programs and am actively involved in the oversight and scrutiny of our intelligence collection against foreign terrorists. One of the Committee’s top priorities is ensuring that our national security interests never trample the Constitutional rights of American citizens. The Committee is diligent in this matter.

“The Amash amendment would have eliminated Section 215 of the Patriot Act which we know has thwarted 54 terrorist plots against the US (and counting). I believe these programs are critical to maintaining our national security and keeping Americans safe. The Amash Amendment was a blunt instrument that would severely damage our intelligence collection capabilities and put Americans at risk.”

Nevada Democrat Rep. Dina Titus, a liberal’s liberal, also voted no.

On the other hand, Nevada Republican Rep. Mark Amodei voted yes on the Amash amendment, and Nevada Democrat Rep. Steven Horsford, recovering at home from bleeding-heart surgery, tweeted the following:

“I would have voted yes on Amash-Conyers re: #NSA bc we must keep our country safe and preserve our civil liberties at the same time.”

These folks – Republicans and Democrats; liberals and conservatives – are all over the map on this one. If you can make heads of tails of it, you’re a better man than I, Gunga Din.