Himes Explains \’No\’ Vote on Amash Amendment

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\"HimesU.S. Rep. Jim Himes has been a harsh critic of sweeping government surveillance.

Last month, in the wake of revelations about the scope of the National Security Agency\’s data-collection program, the Democrat from Connecticut\’s 4th District called for a \”national conversation\” on the matter. \”[W]e need to draw some bright lines around where and when government can encroach on ancient civil liberties,” he wrote in an email to supporters in mid-June. “It’s a cliché to say so, but keep going down this path, and the terrorists do win by causing us to twist our own free country into something none of us would recognize or embrace.”

Which makes his \”no\” vote Wednesday on the Amash amendment surprising. The amendment, proposed by Rep. Justin Amash, R-Michigan, would have defunded the program.

The measure gained bipartisan backing; three Democrats in the Connecticut delegation –John Larson, Joe Courtney and Rosa DeLauro all supported it.

But Himes, along with 5th District Democrat Elizabeth Esty, did not. Late Wednesday, he explained why in a statement, after the jump:

“I have long been critical of the PATRIOT Act and the extent of the authority it provides to the federal government to monitor the everyday activities of innocent Americans. I have never voted to reauthorize the PATRIOT Act and believe we need to scale back the surveillance authorities it provides to the government. Defunding a significant intelligence program without a Congress-wide debate on its merits is imprudent. I take seriously the need to revisit the scope of the federal government’s monitoring programs and look forward to working with my colleagues to find a plan that both protects our civil liberties and ensures the intelligence community has the tools they need to find terrorists and root out their plans before they strike.


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4 thoughts on “Himes Explains \’No\’ Vote on Amash Amendment

  1. Greg

    A debate on its merits…the merits of the US intelligence apparatus spying and collecting data on US citizens. Yes, Mr. Himes, let’s discuss the merits of this Soviet-style intrusion into the private lives of law abiding citizens.

  2. Scott

    All their vote did was guarantee that the conversation will not happen. Himes and Esty are fools who support the unconstitutional spying on free Americans

  3. Kim

    ““It’s a cliché to say so, but keep going down this path, and the terrorists do win by causing us to twist our own free country into something none of us would recognize or embrace.””

    Too late, sir. The country is already unrecognizable in my lifetime. And the Dems are just as guilty as the Repubs in this disgrace. And let’s not blame the ‘terrorists’ for the actions of our politicians – as Rahm Emmanuel said ‘Never let a good crisis go to waste’.

    Our so-called leaders are deplorable. If they really wanted things to change – all they would have to do is use the Constitution and Bill of Rights as guides.

  4. Toronto billy boggs


    As much I agree with the statements, I already knew you were an old hag from a bygone era in which very little remains from your ancient past. You long for the apparent simplicity and familiarity of a secure time while facing an ever present and frightening future.of the unknown. You bath in the gentle memories of your childhood while startled by the horn of reality announcing the Clarion changes that lay ahead.

    This has no doubt, turned you into a sociopath. Take your therapist’s advice and stay on your medication for your sake and society’s.

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