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Politics is big in these parts, and we’ve got it covered. John Arthur Hutchison and other staff writers will offer their inside information on the events, big news and little moments of the local political scene in Lake, Geauga and eastern Cuyahoga counties.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Domestic spying legislation vote questioned during Ohio 14th Congressional District campaign, Joyce's position explained

Michael Wager, Democratic Party candidate for Ohio’s 14th Congressional District, criticized U.S. Rep. Dave Joyce for a vote June 19 the congressman made against an amendment that would prevent the National Security Agency to search Americans communications without a warrant.

The amendment passed by a 293-123 margin and was supported by many Democrats and Republicans.

Wager of Moreland Hills is running against Joyce, R-Russell Township, in the Nov. 4 election.

Wager said in a statement that Joyce voted against a broadly supported, bipartisan effort to end NSA spying on American citizens and the vote meant “Joyce would continue to allow backdoor spying on Americans by protecting the NSA’s ability to access Americans’ phone calls and emails without a warrant.”

He also called on Joyce to denounce warrantless data collection and to take meaningful action to reign in NSA domestic spying.

Joyce, R-Russell Township, did vote against the amendment that was offered late in the night mostly because there were only minutes to read and debate it before the vote was cast, said Dino DiSanto, Joyce’s chief of staff.

The congressman later voted in favor of the defense spending bill that contained the amendment and it passed by a 340-73 margin, DiSanto said.

Joyce supports ending the collection of metadata without a warrant and he also supported the USA Freedom Act that passed May 22 and contained this provision, DiSanto said.

“Congressman Joyce believes our intelligence community needs to go to a judge, have an individual’s name and get a warrant. That’s what the Fourth Amendment says,” DiSanto said. “He also thinks that if we are going to change these programs we should have a robust debate on this. This shouldn't be something that is snuck into a spending bill late at night with just 10 minutes of debate. That is what the American people hate about how the people’s business has been conducted over the years.”

DiSanto also noted Joyce was one of 13 members of Congress who sent a letter last August to House Speaker John Boehner asking to have an open process in the debate on the NSA spying program.

You can view the letter below:

John Arthur Hutchison
Twitter: @newsheraldjah

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