(CNSNews.com) - Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) said at a Cato Institute event in Washington, D.C., on Friday that he voted ‘no’ for the Omnibus Appropriations bill, because it stripped an amendment which would curb government access to private data, and he thought funding should be debated with the newly elected Congress.
CNSNews.com asked Massie, “You voted ‘No’ on the Omnibus yesterday. Can you explain some reasons why that you voted no?”
Massie responded, “One of the bigger reasons I voted no is because they stripped the Massie-Lofgren amendment, which passed 293 to 123 ahead a majority of Republicans and majority of Democrats.”
The Massie-Lofgren amendment “would cut off funding to two government “backdoors” that currently allow intelligence agencies access to Americans’ private data and correspondence.”
“There was no reason to take that out of the funding bill,” Massie continued. “It was one of the riders that passed and was fully debated in the House of Representatives.”
“That’s one reason,” Massie said. “Another reason is that I thought we should be debating the funding for next year in January when the folks who were elected in November take over.”
CNSNews.com continued, “Were Democrats at the last minute trying to get Congressmen like you to vote yes on the Omnibus?”
“No. Democrats were not trying to get us to vote,” Massie said.
The 1,603-page bill, more than $1 trillion omnibus spending bill, which keeps the government funded through next September, was approved by 219-206. There were 162 Republicans who voted for the bill and 67 Republicans who voted against it, with Massie being one of the 67 who voted no.