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Beltway Confidential

Bill to rein in NSA spy programs nets more than 100 bipartisan co-sponsors

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Beltway Confidential,National Security,NSA,Ashe Schow,Edward Snowden,Justin Amash,Patrick Leahy

A bill designed to curb the National Security Agency spy programs -- similar to the amendment pushed by Rep. Justin Amash over the summer -- is picking up bipartisan steam.

The USA Freedom Act, authored by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., the original author of the Patriot Act, has 107 co-sponsors in the House. The Senate version, authored by Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., has 18 co-sponsors.

The bill would reform sections of the Patriot Act to end the federal government's mass collection of phone records and Internet activity -- essentially ending the spy programs leaked by Edward Snowden.

“The days of unfettered spying on the American people are numbered,” Amash said when the bill was introduced.

The bill has garnered massive bipartisan support, with co-sponsors nearly evenly split between Democrats and Republicans. In the House, 53 Republicans and 54 Democrats have co-sponsored Sensenbrenner’s bill.

In the Senate, more Democrats have co-sponsored than Republicans, with 15 Democrats and just three Republicans (including Sen. Mike Lee of Utah) co-sponsoring Leahy's bill.

"We think the American people want to rein in the NSA," Amash spokesman Will Adams told MLive, an online Michigan media group. "They want their rights protected, they want their privacy protected from government surveillance."

In July, the amendment by Amash, a Michigan Republican, narrowly lost on a 217-205 vote, with 94 Republicans and 111 Democrats voting in favor.

It also appears that House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, may be feeling pressure to bring the Freedom Act up for a vote.

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