Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., says momentum is building for his amendment to defund the National Security Administration's program that collects dragnet phone records of Americans. The White House and GOP leadership, however, are both hoping he's wrong.
"[Support] is very broad, and it is broad because the American people support it," Amash said during a news conference. "It is not a partisan issue. It is about the American people versus the elites in Washington."
The amendment will get a vote Wednesday night as part of the annual defense spending bill and Amash's office says it is confident they have the votes to pass it.
A number of Democrats including Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., who cosponsored the amendment, have pledged support to Amash. Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, joked that it is both sides of the Democratic and Republican "wingnut caucuses" working together.
The GOP leadership and White House message machines have been in overdrive on Capitol Hill to stop the amendment from passing. Tuesday, a group of Obama administration officials met with members of the House to host a question and answer session on the dragnet data program in a classified meeting.
But among the most conservative members, the White House's message seemed to fall flat. On a panel of GOP congressmen Wednesday afternoon, only one, House Intelligence Committee member Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., said she was opposed to the amendment.
"We need to win the war on terror. We need to defeat the aims of Islamist jihad. I will be voting 'no' on the Amash amendment," Bachmann said.
Senators on the other side of the Capitol were also putting pressure on the House to keep the key NSA program funded.
"There is a lot of misunderstanding about how the program works," says Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine. "There is no doubt that this program has contributed to the thwarting of dozens of terrorist plots and I think it has to be carefully overseen by Congress and the courts, but that it is valuable as currently structured."