GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Wednesday evening, members of the U.S. House of Representatives debated an amendment that would have fundamentally changed the way the National Security Agency can collect personal information -- from cellphone calls to email.
The amendment, which failed by a slim margin of 217-205, was introduced by Republican Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan who has been extremely critical of the government's snooping program.
Amash was opposed by an unlikely group that included the President and Republican leadership.
He was supported by the primary author of the Patriot Act and a Michigan representative from the east side of the state who is not known for supporting conservative causes.
Amash said it was one of his proudest moments.
"To be able to go onto the floor and manage time and bring Republicans and Democrats together on one side of an argument and hear real debate on the House floor, that's what the American people have been demanding," Amash said. "I think they got to see congress in real action in the way it's intended to work."
When asked what his efforts would be on the issue moving forward, Amash said he would keep pushing forward.
"Representative Conyers and I have a bill called the Liberty Act and that has over 40 co-sponsors very bi-partisan, it's split almost evenly between Republicans and Democrats," Amash said, "We expect legislation like that, if not this legislation, to go through judiciary committee and get a full committee markup and hopefully come to the floor sometime in this next term."
Social media and comment sections exploded with support for the Amash amendment but it was strongly opposed by the leadership of his own party. That may serve to further erode his standing in the majority.
GRAM Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony in front of a festive downtown crowd at Rosa Parks Circle Friday night.
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Police say snow made roads "treacherous" Sunday and urged people to stay home if possible.