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TODAY   |  July 25, 2013

House vote to defund NSA surveillance program fails

In the wake of controversy over details of an NSA data collection program leaked by former contractor Edward Snowden, the House failed to pass a move that would have defunded the program with a vote of 205 to 217. NBC’s Chuck Todd reports.

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>>> the nsa's controversial surveillance program is here to stay. wednesday night, the house voted down an amendment that would have defunded the program that collects data on americans' phone records. nbc's political director chuck todd is in washington to break it down. chuck, good morning.

>> reporter: good morning, tamron. yes, they voted it down, but, wow, was this vote close, 217-205 in the house, and it didn't break down on normal political lines. on the side to defeat this amendment, which, of course, keeps the data collection in place and legal, you had speaker john boehner , who rarely casts votes. he had to cast a vote to make sure it passed. and nancy pelosi . on the other side, this amendment was basically a combination of support from very conservative libertarians, sponsored by a michigan congressman named justin amish. and civil libertarian liberals on the other side, sponsored by democrat john conyers . the president said he would have vetoed it, but they spent all day yesterday scraping together the vote. they came seven votes shy of watching this nsa data collection program become another political football .

>> chuck, thank you very much.