On behalf of FreedomWorks activists nationwide, I urge you to contact your representative and ask him or her to vote in the manner prescribed for each amendment below to the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, Legislative Branch, Defense, State, Foreign Operations, and Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act, H.R. 2740. As is always the case, FreedomWorks reserves the right to key vote any amendment brought to the floor for a vote.
YES – Amendment #24 (Division C): Sponsored by Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), for Republicans who claim to be constitutional conservatives but voted for reauthorization of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), this amendment is somewhat of an opportunity to correct a mistake.
Passed in January 2018, the FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act was the exact opposite of reform. It continued the backdoor search loophole, through which the communications of Americans may be collected and unconstitutionally searched by the FBI, with an utterly meaningless “warrant requirement.” The caveats created by this purported “warrant requirement” are an end-run around the Fourth Amendment.
The FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act provided a path for the National Security Agency (NSA) to restart the practice of “abouts” collection. This means if a U.S. person mentions a potential surveillance target in a communication, the NSA can collect it, regardless of whether or not the U.S. person was communicating with anyone associated with the target. When the NSA was forced to end “abouts” collection, a federal judge on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) wrote that the practice raised “a very serious Fourth Amendment issue.” The judge also criticized the NSA for “an institutional lack of candor” for failing to disclose rule violations.
Amendment #24 would limit the warrantless collection of Americans’ communications under Section 702. FreedomWorks will weight the vote on this amendment.
YES – Amendment #82 (Division E): Sponsored by Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.), this amendment prohibits the use of funds from being used to promulgate any regulation or guidance related to the “social cost of carbon” based on analyses provided by the Interagency Working Group on Social Cost of Carbon. The social cost of carbon measures carbon emissions in dollars and may be used to determine a costly tax on carbon emissions.
YES – Amendment #97 (Division E): Sponsored by Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), this amendment reduces spending for each amount in Division E by 14 percent. This reduction would be consistent with spending levels under the Budget Control Act of 2011.
FreedomWorks will continue to review amendments to H.R. 2740 and, hopefully, send only one more key vote notice if additional amendments are made in order.
FreedomWorks may count the votes on these amendments to the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, Legislative Branch, Defense, State, Foreign Operations, and Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act, H.R. 2740, on our 2019 Congressional Scorecard and reserves the right to score other amendments. Votes on amendments may also be weighted. The scorecard is used to determine eligibility for the FreedomFighter Award, which recognizes Members of the House and Senate who consistently vote to support economic freedom and individual liberty.
Adam Brandon, President, FreedomWorks