U.S. Representative Colleen Hanabusa (HI-01) released the following statement on the National Security Agency (NSA) amendments in the Defense Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2014:
"I believe that much of the PATRIOT Act is problematic and overreaches on the powers we intend to grant the government to protect our national security. This is why I voted against its extension in February 2011.
"However, elimination of a national security program requires an informed, transparent, and deliberative process. Quick fixes like the Amash amendment could have unintended consequences for the intelligence and law enforcement communities beyond the specific problems being targeted. A provision of this nature deserves a more meaningful forum than an amendment to a defense appropriations bill with debate limited to ten minutes on each side, far less time than required to discuss such complex matters of policy. This issue should be the subject of a stand-alone bill that provides a complete review in an open forum involving all stakeholders, including the American public. If a thorough review shows that the law is bad, we should repeal it, not simply de-fund it.
"Instead, I voted in favor of the Pompeo Amendment, which would prevent the National Security Agency from using appropriated funds for the bulk monitoring, collection, or storage of Americans' telephone and electronic communications. My vote was to reinforce safeguards that would prevent the NSA from spying on American citizens while evaluating the NSA program, including its impact on our citizens and its effectiveness in providing for our nation's security.
"I look forward to supporting and continuing a full debate on the appropriate balance between national security and civil liberties."