Politics
8:00 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

Congressman John Yarmuth Calls for More Accountablity at NSA

Despite objections from the Obama administration, Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth joined a bipartisan effort to limit the Nation Security Agency's ability to gather Americans telephone records.

The House ultimately rejected the amendment co-sponsored by Republican Justin Amash and Democrat John Conyers in a 205-217 vote, but this could be just the beginning of legislative attempts to curtail the intelligence agency.

Since agency contract employee Edward Snowden leaked details of a massive data collection program, the NSA has been criticized by libertarian-leaning conservatives and liberals for some time.

Appearing on MSNBC, Yarmuth says he isn't pleased with how the information came to light, but says there is considerable concern among lawmakers regarding privacy rights.

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A broad ideological coalition supported the measure including Yarmuth's congressional district neighbor, Republican Thomas Massie, who has been a strong proponent of civil liberties.

"Recent abuses of the Patriot Act have demonstrated the dire need for legislative reform," Mass said in a statement last month.

Poll numbers (here and here) show public opinion is turning against the NSA programs after initial surveys showed support for the tools as a way to combat terrorism.

The other four members of Kentucky's congressional delegation along with Republican Congressman Todd Young of Indiana voted against the amendment.

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