House GOP leaders are scrambling to quell a quiet libertarian rebellion that threatens to block consideration of the Defense appropriations bill.
A small group of Republicans are holding the spending bill hostage until they get votes on several controversial amendments.
â€œWeâ€™ve conveyed to the whip team that we wonâ€™t vote for the rule if they donâ€™t allow debate and votes,â€ Thomas Massie, R-Ky., said Friday. â€œWe donâ€™t need all the amendments to be allowed. We need at least one substantial amendment on three things: Egypt, Syria and NSA.â€
Massie has two amendments before the Rules Committee: one that would defund military operations in Syria and one that would defund military operations in Egypt. Another leader in the Republican rebellion, Justin Amash of Michigan, has an amendment that would end funds for the National Security Agencyâ€™s blanket collection of telephone call records in the wake of Edward Snowdenâ€™s leaking of the program.
Rules Committee member Rich Nugent, R-Fla., has a similar NSA amendment, but the libertarian lawmakers say it insufficiently addresses the issue.
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