Outgoing Representative and failed Presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann (R-Minn.) said that she supports National Security Agency spying and that she would vote “no” on efforts to curtail it at the Heritage Foundation’s monthly “Conversation with Conservatives” event.
Getting into a verbal dispute with Representative Justin Amash (R-Mich.) over his proposed amendment aimed at cutting funding to NSA data collection efforts, Bachmann said that government spying is necessary to “win the war on terror.” The Congresswoman also said that Americans have no reasonable expectation of privacy with regard to phone records.
“I’ll be voting ‘no’ on the Amash amendment,” she said. “And the reason why is because with the business records exception, section 215 [of the Patriot Act], there is no expectation of privacy.”
“I believe that we need to win the war on terror,” the Congresswoman later added. “We need to defeat the goals and aims of Islamic jihad and for that reason, I will be voting no on the Amash amendment.”
Amash responded to Bachman, urging her to ask her constituents how they feel.
“All you have to do is go home to your constituents and ask them whether they think they have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their phone records, or any of their other records that are stored by a third party, and they will tell you yes,” the Michigan Congressman said.
Furthermore, he argued, that if section 215 is allowed to be used loosely by the Federal government, any digital records Americans have stored on third party equipment could be subject to snooping.
“You might as well throw the Fourth Amendment out the window,” Amash said.
Bachmann also made very clear that she considers NSA leaker Edward Snowden a “traitor” and an enemy of the U.S.
At publication of this article, House lawmakers were debating the Defense Appropriations Bill that includes Amash’s amendment.