Why 76 lawmakers just voted against their own bill to reform the NSA

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The House passed the USA Freedom Act, a bill aimed at reforming the National Security Agency's bulk collection of domestic phone records. But the version of that bill was different from the one that was recently approved by the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees.

The new version from the House Rules Committee, privacy advocates say, significantly weakened the reform and included loopholes that could potentially allow bulk data collection on US citizens to continue.

Privacy advocates weren't the only ones upset about the changes. Many co-sponsors of the original version were also concerned. In fact, a Washington Post analysis of the votes shows that 76 of the 152 co-sponsors of the earlier version voted against passage of the altered version on the House floor. So, half of the co-sponsors ended up voting against what was supposed to be their own NSA reform bill. That includes Rep Jared Polis, (D-CO), who released a press statement about his change of heart after the vote.

“Unfortunately, the USA Freedom Act, which I cosponsored as introduced, has been watered down and co-opted to the point that it creates the possibility that NSA could misuse the bill- contrary to the legislative intent- to conduct broad searches of communication records," Rep Polis said.

Why 76 lawmakers just voted against their own bill to reform the NSA