Update: This post was published in the News-Press on July 19, 2013.
Congratulations to Congresswoman Lois Capps for voting in favor of the Amash/Conyers amendment, which sought to de-fund the blanket collection by the National Security Agency of Americans' telephone records. In voting to support our constitutional rights to free expression, free association and privacy – foundations of the liberty Americans have fought and died for – our Congressional representative exhibited courage and principle, taking a position in opposition to the Obama administration as well as that of the Democratic House leadership, whose Chairperson Nancy Pelosi and Whip Steny Hoyer both voted against the amendment and urged all House Democrats to do so.
Although the amendment was narrowly defeated – 217 to 205 – Representative Capps was joined in support of this fundamental expression of our citizens' freedoms by both progressive Democrats and conservative Republicans, who found NSA's secret, massive collection of our telephone calls an unlawful and outrageous intrusion on liberties. Our Congresswoman, whose voting record is hardly perfect, deserves praise when, as in this instance, she gets one very, very right.