As House Passes NSA Restrictions, Lawmakers Backed by Defense Industry Log Votes Against Reform

On Thursday, June 19, 2014, the House of Representatives passed an amendment to the defense appropriations bill that would cut off funding to the National Security Agency (NSA) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for installing surveillance "back doors" into software and physical devices. The amendment would also block the NSA and CIA from using funds appropriated by the bill to query intelligence information about U.S. persons without a warrant.

The amendment was sponsored by Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) and Rep. Zoe Lofgren (R-Calif.). The amendment passed with a bipartisan majority voting in favor, but a significant number of Representatives123voted to continue funding surveillance "back doors" and warrantless searches on U.S. persons. 

  • Representatives voting to continue funding surveillance "back doors" and warrantless searches on U.S. persons received, on average, 113 percent more money ($75.4k) from defense contractors and other defense industry interests than representatives who voted to defund the programs ($35.5k), from January 1, 2011 - December 31, 2013.
  • Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon, Chair of the House Committee on Armed Services, received $693,650 from defense contractors and other defense industry interests from January 1, 2011 - December 31, 2013, more than any other member of the House. He voted to continue funding surveillance "back doors" and warrantless searches on U.S. persons. 

Methodology: MapLight analysis of campaign contributions from employees and PACs of defense contractors and other defense industry interests to current members of the House of Representatives, from January 1, 2011—December 31, 2013. Contributions data source: OpenSecrets.org

About MapLight: MapLight is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization that reveals money's influence on politics. If our work has been helpful to you, please consider supporting us.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

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