Rep. Ralph Hall voted for an amendment that would have limited a phone records collection program run by the National Security Agency. The measure failed in the House of Representatives on Wednesday.
The vote was close — 217 to 205 — and it cobbled together two rare bipartisan coalitions. The amendment was opposed by President Obama as well as Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). But it was championed by those on the left and right wings of the House, including Democrats and Republicans.
The measure, introduced by Rep. Justin Amash (R-Michigan) would have limited NSA phone surveillance to specific targets of law-enforcement investigations, not broad dragnets.
Lawmakers from neighboring districts were spilt on the amendment. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas 1st, Tyler) joined Hall in supporting the measure.
But other Texas congressmen from around the region opposed the amendment. Jeb Hensariling (R-Texas 5th, Mesquite-Terrell-Canton), Sam Johnson (R-Texas 3rd, Collin Co.) and Pete Sessions (R-Texas 32nd, North Dallas-Richardson-Garland) all voted against H.R. 2397.
Oklahoma Republican Markwayne Mullin, who represents eastern Oklahoma's 2nd Congressional District, voted for the amendment.