Among the amendments the House approved was one by Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., that put certain personal information off limits: library, medical and gun sale records, tax returns and education documents.
"I don't know why the government would want to snoop through library records or tax returns to counter the cybersecurity threat," Amash said.
The House approved his amendment, 415-0.
Trumping any privacy concerns were the national security argument, always powerful in an election year, and Republicans' political desire to complete a bill that would then force the Democratic-led Senate to act.
The administration backs a Senate bill sponsored by Sens. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, that gives Homeland Security the authority to establish security standards.
However, that legislation faces opposition from senior Senate Republicans.
Arizona Sen. John McCain, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said during a hearing last month that the Homeland Security Department is "probably the most inefficient bureaucracy that I have ever encountered" and is ill-equipped to determine how best to secure the nation's essential infrastructure. McCain has introduced a competing bill.
Associated Press writer Alan Fram contributed to this report.
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