Rep. Swalwell Statement on Vote in Favor of Protecting Americans’ Privacy

July 24, 2013
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Representative Eric Swalwell (CA-15) today released the following statement after voting for H.R. 2397, the Amash/Conyers amendment to the 2014 Defense Appropriations bill that would limit the National Security Agency’s (NSA) surveillance program which collects data on personal phone records:

“The National Security Agency is critical to protecting our country from terrorism, but I strongly believe we can still gather information on terrorists without invading the privacy of innocent Americans.

“My vote for the bipartisan amendment does not mean I want to abandon our surveillance programs. As a Member of the Homeland Security Committee, I recognize the important role they have in counterterrorism efforts. But, rather I believe we can limit the scope of our surveillance while still protecting our country. This might require more resources to create a revised program, but it is worthwhile for the sake of our national security and the protections granted in the Fourth Amendment.

“This vote is just a start to what I hope will be a continuing conversation on the ways we can maintain our national counterterrorism effort while safeguarding the privacy of American citizens. “

The amendment failed 217-205.