All But One VA Republican Congressmen Side With Obama on NSA Vote

Congressman Morgan Griffith was the only Virginia Republican Senator to vote for the bill that would have tightened restrictions on the NSA.
Congressman Morgan Griffith was the only Virginia Republican Senator to vote for the bill that would have ended funding for the controversial NSA program.

All but one of Virginia’s eight Republican congressmen sided with President Obama to help defeat a bill that would have effectively ended funding for the controversial NSA  surveillance program.

Even U.S. House of Representatives Majority Leader Eric Cantorwho said he was “perplexed” by the NSA surveillance revelations, voted to keep the program, a move in step with Speaker of the House and fellow Republican leader Rep. John Boehner.

Just one Republican joined all three Democrats to vote for the bill — Congressman Morgan Griffith, who lives in Salem and represents Virginia’s Ninth District.

All three of Virginia’s Democratic congressmen broke from the president, who has firmly opposed ending the blanket collection of Americans’ phone records.

Dubbed the Amash-Conyers Amendment, the bill would have allowed the government to collect records under Section 215 of the Patriot Act only when those records relate to a person subject to investigation under that provision.

“While the Amash-Conyers amendment that would rein in the NSA’s data gathering capabilities on U.S. citizens who aren’t suspects failed, I am proud to be a part of a bipartisan group of Congressmen and women who believe our first duty is to protect and uphold the freedoms recognized by the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights,” Griffith said in a statement.

The Virginia congressional delegation reflects the vote breakdown for the entire Congress. A majority of Republicans in Congress sided with the president, citing security issues, while the majority of Democrats defied the president’s wishes and fought for civil liberties.

In total, 94 House Republicans voted for the bill, and 134 voted against it; 111 Democrats voted for the bill, and 83 opposed it. In all, 205 members of Congress supported it, and 217 opposed it.

 Here’s how Virginia’s congressional delegation voted:

First District: Rep. Rob Wittman, R — NO

Second District: Rep. Scott Rigell, R — NO

Third District: Rep. Bobby Scott, D — AYE

Fourth District: Rep. Randy Forbes, R — NO

Fifth District: Rep. Robert Hurt, R — NO

Sixth District: Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R — NO

Seventh District: Rep. Eric Cantor, R — NO

Eighth District: Jim Moran, D — AYE

Ninth District: Rep. Morgan Griffith, R — AYE

Tenth District: Rep. Frank Wolf, R — NO

Eleventh District: Rep. Gerry Connolly, D — AYE

— Kathryn Watson is a reporter for the Virginia Bureau of 

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